By: 24 November 2016
Claims Management Regulator concerned about potential data breaches in holiday sickness claims marketing

The Claims Management Regulator has said that it is concerned that some claims management companies (CMCs) may be breaching data rules with their holiday sickness claims marketing.

In a bulletin sent to CMCs this week, the Regulator said that it had noted an increase in advertising which targeted at individuals who have fallen ill on holiday. It said that a number of potential breaches had been identified in the use of direct telemarketing in the area.

“All such claims fall under the definition of personal injury and are therefore deemed to be regulated claims management services,” said the Regulator.

“If advertising for, referring or progressing these type of claims, the CMC involved must be authorised and comply fully with the Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2014 (CAPR) and relevant legislation.”

Any data used for direct marketing must have received consent from clients that they are happy to be contacted, specifically about a holiday sickness or personal injury claim. Simple data about people that have been on holiday will be insufficient and will therefore breach the CAPR,” it added.

The Regulator also said that CMCs that were operating in the holiday sickness claims market had to inform the regulator of any changes that may affect their authorisation, such as new websites or trading names.

Earlier this month, the ABTA, the UK’s largest travel association, met with officials from the Ministry of Justice to highlight the growing problem of gastric illness compensation claims made through UK CMCs.

Following reports among its members of dramatic increases in claims during 2016, the ABTA said that it was collating data and feedback, with evidence to date showing that the significant increases in gastric illness claims simply do not match up with recorded sickness levels in holiday resorts.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive said: “This trend is a serious concern for our Members, for the industry as a whole and for consumers.  It was clear from our meeting with the Ministry of Justice that they recognise that this is a real issue that merits further attention.

“We will continue to work proactively with the policymakers and regulators, sharing intelligence and data to support the industry’s case for change.”