You know how it is when you get home from holidays: there are cases to unpack, post to read, insurance claims to make. Doesn’t sound familiar? Well, the Association of British Insurers has carried out a survey about travel insurance and amazingly almost half – 47% – of those questioned said they would be prepared to make a fraudulent insurance claim.
The ABI says there are different types of claimants, ranging from genuine cases to serial claimers to opportunists. One man, who was investigated after making several claims over a number of years, had a leaflet at home called “How to make £2,000 from your holiday”.
The serial claimers
Those who try their luck more than once include:
A man who claimed for the cost of having his appendix removed while in Cyprus. Investigations revealed that he had made the same claim on eight occasions in the past.
A woman who claimed on five separate occasions for the loss of the same eye. Her claims ranged from being attacked, to injury while jumping into a swimming pool.
Weird and wonderful claims have included:
A man claiming for ‘recuperation costs’ after recovering from a heart attack while holidaying in West Africa. The bill was actually for the cost of visiting a local brothel.
A couple said that the apes on the Rock of Gibraltar had snatched their video camcorder and digital camera from them. During questioning they admitted that they had actually damaged both items when they dropped them.
As easy as stealing the hotel towel?
The insurance industry is now promising to get tough on attempted fraud. The ABI’s Debra Weekes says: “This summer insurers will intensify their efforts to expose dishonest claimants. The vast majority of insurance claims made by holidaymakers are genuine, and insurers deal with these claims quickly and efficiently. But the industry will also be cracking down hard on insurance cheats who see travel insurance as a way of paying for their holiday.”
Unlike stealing the hotel towel, this is one crime that is unlikely to go unpunished.