ABTA Welcomes Government Increases to the Small Claims Limit for Personal Injury

ABTA has welcomed the recent confirmation by the Government that previously announced increases to the small claims limit for personal injury to £2000 for general claims, and £5,000 for road traffic claims, will be carried forward, albeit with a one-year delay

The new rules will now come into effect in April 2020.

This means that customers who have legitimately fallen ill on holiday will have an easy to use, convenient source for redress which does not require the services of Claims Management Companies and the firms of solicitors they partner with. The Government has rightly rejected the recommendation by the Justice Select Committee to set an upper limit of £1,500 for personal injuries, which would fall below the average value of most holiday sickness related claims. ABTA made this point in a recent letter to Lord Keen of Elie the Ministry of Justice Spokesperson in the House of Lords, and he has subsequently expressed his gratitude for ABTA’s ongoing support and participation in reforms relating to holiday sickness claims.

ABTA is also pleased that the recent Royal Assent of the Financial Guidance and Claims Act (FGCA) will see regulation of Claims Management Companies pass to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which will take a more rigorous approach to regulation and enforcement. In addition, the FGCA also adopted tighter rules to prohibit cold calling, which we strongly welcome, and which will come into force in April 2019.

The rules governing Claims Management Companies are currently subject to a consultation by the FCA which closes on 3 August. ABTA will be responding to this consultation, and will engage with the process to ensure a smooth handover from the existing Claims Management Regulation Unit.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA – The Travel Association said: “Tackling false sickness claims requires a multi-pronged approach. The Government has so far responded positively to the campaign from ABTA and its Members by bringing sickness claims into the fixed cost regime and banning cold calling by Claims Management Companies. It’s important we continue to pursue this issue and the other contributing factors, which is why I am pleased the Government has listened to our views and will raise the limit for small claims. We will continue to work with the relevant authorities on this matter.”