Horwich Farrelly welcomes drop in travel sickness CMCs

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Horwich Farrelly has welcomed the Ministry of Justice’s report that the number of claims management companies (CMCs) operating in the travel sector has fallen by 37%.

The drop, seen between August 2017 and January 2018, shows that the insurance industry’s crackdown on fraudulent travel sickness claims is working, according to Horwich Farrelly partner Mark Hudson.

Hudson said: “In January 2018, the Ministry of Justice asked CMCs to report if they handled holiday sickness claims. 140 CMCs said they did, a reduction from 225 on a previous Ministry of Justice’s survey in August 2017. Such a fall is strong evidence that the robust response from the sector, working closely with firms like Horwich Farrelly, is making the business of fraudulent holiday sickness claims less attractive.”

Horwich Farrelly, the general insurance claims specialist, has worked closely with the insurance industry to tackle fraudulent travel sickness claims, and contributed to a Ministry of Justice consultation on the subject that resulted in the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) being amended to fix the costs of these claims.

Partner Nicola Critchley chaired the Civil Justice Council working group that was tasked by the Ministry of Justice with proposing changes to the legal processes for gastric illness claims to deal with the problem, resulting in the new rules on fixed costs.

Horwich Farrelly has also applied its zero tolerance approach to fraud to successfully defend more than 2,700 holiday illness claims in the last year, and is delighted to see its approach being validated, according to Hudson.

He said: “The recent surge in travel claims resulted in many ‘new players’ entering this sector and this is why Horwich Farrelly, in conjunction with Forum of Insurance Lawyers and the travel industry, called for a bespoke pre-action protocol to address adverse behaviours and bring certainty with fixed costs.”

“The travel industry has a key role to play in challenging fraudulent holiday illness claims and bringing them to justice, and Horwich Farrelly will continue to work alongside both the industry and the Ministry of Justice to see that this strategy progresses and such claims are defended robustly.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk