We all love a drink on our holidays. A glass of wine to relax after a tough day on the sun lounger or a refreshing G & T in the bar before dinner? There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, for many of us, enjoying alcohol is an essential part of our holiday experience. We sample new things, we see new places, we try a cocktail we’ve never had before.
However, the trouble comes when it goes too far. Last year the FCO published some research that suggested that almost a quarter (23%) of young British holidaymakers have gone swimming while drunk on holiday abroad and over a quarter (26%) have done something while drunk on holiday that they were ashamed of.
Oh dear. The fact remains that drinking can impair your judgement and the after effects can last far longer than the hangover. Getting arrested or hospitalised can cause a lot more emotional trouble than you might think. And it may cost a lot more too – even if you have got travel insurance.
Drinking and your travel insurance
Your travel insurer doesn’t want you to go on holiday and have a boring, sober time. But there are clauses which require you to be responsible in order for your policy to take care of you if you get into trouble. Generally speaking all insurances have clauses or criteria for purchase which demand that you take all measures to safeguard yourself against all injury, loss or damage as if you had no insurance cover. This basically means that if you do anything reckless (by willfully exposing yourself to danger) other than in an effort to save life, your policy will be invalid.
So if you are going to go out and get blind drunk and beyond all reason and throw yourself off the hotel balcony in an attempt to jump into the hotel pool, you’re on your own. Again, it might sound like we’re being killjoys but if you are going to party, party like you never took out a policy in the first place. Your insurance may not always be the safety net you might like it to be.
Drugs and your travel insurance
Most policies also have a clause that will render your policy null and void if you are under the influences of solvents or drugs except those prescribed by your registered doctor, but not when prescribed for treatment of drug addiction. If you have an accident and medical reports suggest you were under the influence of an illegal substance then you won’t be covered.
Something else to remember here is that different countries have different laws, so what is legal in one country may not be in another and what is deemed illegal by your insurer may not be in the place you are visiting. Again, if you want to party, do it like you never took out that insurance policy. That’s the only way to guarantee that your insurer will back you up when you need it.
Criminal activity and your travel insurance
Need we spell this out? I am sure we don’t but the small print says that you won’t be covered if you or any member of your insured party takes part in criminal activity or commits a criminal act. Again, laws differ from country to country so be aware that what’s normal at home may be illegal where you are staying.
Riding a motorcycle? Check your policy first
What holiday can’t be enhanced by hiring a scooter to get around? It’s part of the holiday experience! But it’s important to bear in mind that whilst the exclusions we have outlined above are standard throughout the insurance industry, not all policies are the same when it comes to sports and activities. Some will allow you to take part in activities and sports, some won’t. When it comes to riding a motorcycle you will not be covered if you ride anything for which you do not hold a full licence to ride in your home country. If you are riding pillion, the rider must hold a full licence. You are also required to wear a crash helmet, whether legally required locally or not.
It’s basic survival really and once again emphasises the message: do it like you never took out that policy in the first place.