It's Brit's a-fraud when it comes to travel cover
1 in 5 (20%) 18 to 34 year old holidaymakers have completely made up travel insurance claims in order to pay for, or subsidise, the cost of their holiday.
The new research from comparison site Gocompare.com also revealed that nearly 1 in 10 (9%) British holidaymakers admit to having added several hundred pounds to a travel insurance claim in order to make claiming on their policy worthwhile.
The findings suggest that a significant number of UK holidaymakers feel that travel insurance is there to be claimed on and would be happy to invent spurious travel mishaps or considerably inflate what they should be reasonably entitled to claim for.
Although younger travellers have been the most fraudulent, over 55s appear to have a much stronger sense of fair play with older travellers being 10 times less likely to try to defraud their insurers than 18 to 34 year olds.
Highlights of the research include:
20% of 18 to 34 year old holidaymakers have made up fake travel insurance claims
Just 2% of over 55s have submitted fake travel insurance claims
9% of British holidaymakers have inflated travel insurance claims by several hundred pounds
9% of British holiday makers go abroad without any travel insurance cover whatsoever
Londoners have faked more claims than holidaymakers from other regions
Holiday makers from the North of England are the most honest
37% of holidaymakers have made fair claims on a travel insurance policy
11% have had travel insurance claims turned down for not following the insurer's claim guidelines
Although 9 per cent of UK holidaymakers still go abroad without any travel insurance cover whatsoever, over a third (37%) of Brits have made what they feel were fair travel insurance claims for holiday mishaps. 29 per cent said that they have had cause to claim but the excess on the policy made claiming ‘not worth the hassle'.
Over three quarters (76%) of consumers read their policy to make sure they know what they're covered for, but 13 per cent have had claims turned down because they didn't have the right cover and 11 per cent had claims rejected because of failing to follow the insurer's claim guidelines. 19% of 18 to 34 year olds have had claims turned down for this reason.
Jeremy Cryer, head of travel at Gocompare.com, said: "It may seem fairly harmless to some people to submit a fake travel insurance claim or bump up the amount of a genuine claim to make it more worthwhile. However, making an insurance claim under false pretences is still fraud and if you're found out you could end up with a criminal record and find it much harder to get other kinds of insurance in the future. This could have serious implications for things like getting a mortgage or insuring a car.
"Having a genuine claim rejected because you didn't follow the insurer's guidelines is frustrating but it can be avoided if you read the policy documents and take a copy of them away with you. That way you can refer to the insurer's instructions while you are abroad rather than coming home and finding that you missed doing something important which would have helped your claim go through.
"Insurance fraud is estimated to cost the UK insurance industry around £2 billion a year, a cost which is passed on to policyholders in the form of higher premiums whether you're a fair customer or a fraudulent one."