Travel insurance customers who have claims turned down are then citing different circumstances that are more likely to be accepted, says CEGA’s Special Investigations Unit.
“In the last year we’ve seen a rise in the number of customers submitting alternative, fabricated evidence to back up a claim,” says CEGA’s Head of Technical Claims, Simon Cook. “For example, we’ve seen missed flights blamed first on something not covered by a policy, such as poor timekeeping, and then on something that’s more likely to be covered, such as a puncture en-route to the airport. We’ve had cancelled holidays attributed first to passports not being renewed in time and then to illness. We’ve been told that bags have been stolen from the beach when policyholders left them to go swimming and then - once they realise that unwatched possessions aren’t covered - that the bags weren’t left unattended after all. The list goes on.
“Claimants often produce false evidence to back up their second attempts at claiming, including retrospective sick notes and breakdown reports,” says Simon.
“Some policyholders aren’t aware that lying about the circumstances of a claim is fraudulent and that the penalties can be severe,” adds Simon. “But we ensure that our claims processes quickly pick up these scams and that claims handlers are trained to use sophisticated conversation management techniques to make sure that genuine claims are paid quickly and fraud trends are exposed.”