Author: Javed Ali, Legal Consultant, Hill Dickinson LLP
Understanding your legal obligations when dealing with claims will not only improve your company’s bottom line, but will also empower your team to effectively deal with any litigious claims. This is crucial coming out of the pandemic as travel numbers increase.
We are in spring 2022, the travel industry is about to enter its peak season excited to restart and perform in line with pre-pandemic levels. Improving your internal team’s ability to deal with legal claims effectively in this rapidly changing world is not only a benefit but a necessity.
Businesses cannot be complacent. By continually denying liability when a claim is made by a customer, this will increase costs and reduce customer confidence. Proper investigation and evidence gathering must be done at the very start. This will not only serve to settle genuine claims promptly, thereby saving you money and increasing customer loyalty, but will also enable you to respond effectively to any initial letter of claim when there is a good reason to deny liability and defend the claim.
Over the last two years, Hill Dickinson has been very lucky to not only have had the continued support of our loyal existing customers, but to also bring new clients into our business. These new clients, some of whom are first time tour operators, want to understand the intricacies of the laws behind holiday contracts. They want to know what they should be looking for when dealing with their suppliers, their insurers. What do they need to know, and what procedures do they need to have in place when they receive a letter of claim from a customer, be it for a breach of contract, or a claim for an injury for which the customer blames the holiday provider? What are their obligations towards their customers before during and after their holiday? What legal rights do their customers have? To understand these issues is crucial for travel businesses since claims are part and parcel of the travel industry, and the way you handle and deal with them can impact your long-term business success.
To understand the litigation process and to see how it operates in practice will exhilarate your teams to look at each new and existing claim with a fresh eye, to think laterally. Take the process of disclosure in the litigation process for example. It is imperative to understand the consequences of not disclosing something, when you must, even though it will be detrimental to your case, but also to understand on which documents you can claim privilege and protect its disclosure.
Hill Dickinson is pleased to be involved with ABTA’s upcoming Claims Handling in Travel training, taking place in central London on 31 March. This practical training day will give travel companies of all sizes the tools and knowledge to effectively manage any claims you receive.