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Holidaymakers risk gaining a criminal record by committing travel insurance fraud

08 July 2015

18 to 34 year olds are most likely to make bogus claims

  • 17% of 18 to 24 year olds and 12% of people aged 25 to 34 admit to falsely claiming on their travel insurance;
  • 5% of Brits holidaying abroad have either exaggerated or made-up a travel insurance claim;
  • £298 – the average value of a dishonest travel insurance claim.

Dishonest holidaymakers risk gaining a criminal record and seriously damaging their finances by making inflated or completely fictitious travel insurance claims.  The warning from Gocompare.com Travel Insurance comes as new research* reveals that a significant proportion of travellers aged 18 to 34 admit to falsely claiming on their travel insurance.

The research of over 1,800 adults found that:

  • 5% of people admitted that they had either exaggerated or made-up a travel insurance claim;
  • The average value of a fraudulent claim is £298;
  • 18 to 24 year olds were most likely to commit travel insurance fraud with 17% saying that they had either exaggerated or made-up a claim, this age group also tried to claim the most – trying to get an extra £370 from insurers on average;
  • Men (7%) are more than twice as likely (3%) to commit travel insurance fraud than women.  On average, men also make higher value false claims than women (£338 for men, £224 for women);
  • 2% of those surveyed said that they had completely invented a travel insurance claim;
  • 2% have slightly inflated the value of a genuine claim;
  • 2% admitted to adding several hundred pounds to a genuine claim ‘to make it worthwhile’.

Commenting on the research, Caroline Lloyd from Gocompare.com Travel Insurance said, “Many fraudulent travel insurance claims are opportunistic – people add a bit extra on to a claim to ‘make it worth their while’ without stopping to consider they are actually committing a crime.

“Falsely claiming on your travel insurance - whether that’s exaggerating a genuine claim or completely making-up a claim - is a criminal offence and dishonest holidaymakers face serious consequences if they are caught.  Every year, insurance fraud costs the industry and honest policyholders millions of pounds so insurers take the issue seriously. Insurers work hard to root out the problem by employing specialists to investigate suspicious claims and sharing data to help spot trends and serious fraudsters.

“Anyone caught defrauding or trying to defraud their insurer faces far reaching consequences.  For example, you might have a genuine claim for lost luggage but, if your insurer finds that you’ve overstated the quality or value of the items you have lost, they may refuse to pay the whole claim.  Fraudsters will find it more difficult and more costly to get insurance, including car and home insurance, in the future.  Their credit rating will also be adversely affected making it harder to be granted a loan.  They may also find their case is referred to the police - who are also taking insurance fraud more seriously.”                   

Caroline continued, “The vast majority of travel insurance claims are genuine and insurers will always look to pay-out honest claims. When buying insurance it’s important to read the small print.  This will explain what’s covered and what’s not, as well as policy limits, excesses and guidelines for making claims – such as obtaining a written police report if you have been a victim of theft.  Our survey found that only a fifth of people do this.”

For more information on travel insurance claims visit Gocompare.com's travel insurance claim guide.

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Notes to editors:

*On 17 March 2015, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 1,820 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists and have holidayed abroad.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.