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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 February, 2004, 13:33 GMT
Travel insurance fraud 'common'
Holidaymakers on the beach
Many attempts at bogus claims fail
Nearly eight million holidaymakers have tried to make a bogus claim on their travel insurance, a survey has found.

The study, by Direct Line Travel Insurance, found 15% of respondents had made a fraudulent claim.

The fraud is often in the form of extra items being added to a genuine claim, or the values of lost items are inflated, the survey found.

Direct Line warned that dishonest claims could mean honest policyholders would end up paying more.

'Designer' shades

Four out of five of those who admitted making a fraudulent claim refused to elaborate on what they had done.

But 15% admitted inflating the value of their claim, while 5% said their claim was totally fabricated.

Honest policyholders could end up paying higher premiums for dishonest claims
Chris Price, Direct Line Travel Insurance
The most popular item for over-claiming was sunglasses, with 27% admitting they had lied about how valuable their shades were.

Other popular areas for exaggerating values were luggage, medical bills, mobile phones and cameras.

But it would appear many attempts at making a fraudulent claim fail.

The survey found that 62% of those who tried to put in a bogus claim failed to get a pay out after their insurer became suspicious.

"From our research it is worrying to see that so many opportunists don't think twice about making a spurious claim," said Chris Price, business manager at Direct Line Travel Insurance.

"Unfortunately, honest policyholders could end up paying higher premiums for dishonest claims."

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