AGENTS are at risk from the UK’s ‘ambulance-chasing’ claim culture if they dip into tour operating, Cosmos overseas purchasing director Hugh Morgan has warned.

He said agents will struggle with costly legal bills and expensive insurance policies should they face claims from consumers, and are not aware of the liabilities they could face.

Cosmos is currently facing £7 million in claims and has an excess of £100,000 leaving it liable for around £1.3 million. A recent case saw the company landed with a £350,000 legal bill, despite a court ruling in favour of Cosmos.

Speaking at a travel industry debate earlier this week, Morgan said the volume of claims was indicative of today’s claim culture. “The excesses have gone up. The claim culture has become quite substantial.”

He added the operator had always been concerned with health and safety standards in resort, but people are now putting in claims for anything.

He said: “There is an element now that whenever people bang their toe, they put in a claim.”

However, he said, booking through Cosmos – or through its accommodation-only arm Somewhere2stay.com – would cover agents for public liability insurance.