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Scam epidemic: Police warn holidaymakers against making fake travel insurance claims

Scam epidemic: Police warn holidaymakers against making fake travel insurance claims
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Holidaymakers have been warned against making fraudulent travel insurance claims ahead of the half term break this week.

What’s known as ‘opportunistic fraud’ makes up 85% of all travel insurance scams and is descried as when people who aren’t involved in organised crime attempt to make a fast buck with a fake claim.

The consequences of making a fake claim can result in being added to the Insurance Fraud Register or, in extreme cases, lead to imprisonment. Doing so can also scupper the chances of securing insurance policies in the future.

Common examples include forging medical evidence after becoming sick or having an accident, exaggerating the value of stolen items and fake travel disruption claims. Some have even made multiple claims for the same incident with a variety of insurers.

The campaign from Insurance Fraud Bureau and City of London aims to stop the current trend of crooked claims which costs the insurance industry over £2bn each year.

Ursula Jallow, director at the Insurance Fraud Bureau, said: “Travel insurance is there to give holidaymakers peace of mind should the worst ever happen, but often we find these policies are being exploited by opportunistic fraudsters.

“If you need to make an insurance claim, you must do so honestly. Any fictitious or exaggerated expenses for what otherwise would have been a genuine claim is still fraud and the consequences are serious.

“Insurance scams bring added costs for everyone else, which is why we’re collaborating so closely with insurers and the police to crackdown on the issue. Anyone with evidence of insurance fraud should report it to our confidential CheatLine service as soon as possible”.

‘Some people abusing their policy’

Detective chief inspector Tom Hill, at City of London Police’s insurance fraud enforcement department (IFED), added: “It’s important to fully understand the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy before going on holiday, so that you know what you’re entitled to claim for.

“Unfortunately, some people think nothing of abusing their policy by making fictitious or exaggerated claims, be it pretending an item that they lost cost more than it was worth or lying about needing medical treatment abroad. As a result, the cost of insurance is driven up for everyone, meaning that honest policyholders end up paying the price.

“This type of fraud is taken very seriously by IFED and the insurance industry, and can leave perpetrators with a criminal record or make it harder for them to access essential insurance services in the future.”