Most travelers love to kick back and enjoy alcohol on vacation, but many are not be aware that drinking can actually nullify their insurance if they aren’t careful.
Most insurance providers consider intoxication an exclusion for all plans, from anything like injuries that happen in a fall after drinking, to being barred from a flight because a crewmember observes behavior they think could endanger other passengers. If you like to drink on vacation, it’s important to know what your travel insurance will and will not cover.
A survey of the major travel insurers confirmed that travelers need to understand that any indication that alcohol is involved in an incident could reject their claim. If you break your leg on vacation after having a few drinks, there is a pretty good chance your claim won’t be paid. The alcohol rule can pertain to medical coverage, as well as car rental coverage. Many policies define “intoxicated” as “a blood alcohol level that equals or exceeds the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle in the state or jurisdiction where you are located at the time of an incident.”
So, how do travel insurance companies find out about alcohol use? Typically, the doctor will mention the use of alcohol in a medical report. That report is then required during the claims process.
When it comes to drinking alcohol when on vacation, here are some general guidelines for travelers:
1. Drink in moderation/limit alcohol usage.
2. Insist on watching your drink being made.
3. Beer or wine from a can or bottle may be a safer option than a prepared drink.
4. Buy your own alcohol at "duty free" and only drink what you brought, even if you are required to pay a "cork fee."
5. Never leave your drink unattended.
6. If you begin to feel ill, seek attention immediately.
7. Call your travel insurance provider if you need help finding medical care or if you are admitted to a hospital.
For many, traveling and drinking seem to go hand-in-hand. While having a couple of drinks may help you relax a bit, excessive drinking can pose many dangers, even at home. But the threat becomes magnified when you are in a city or town where you are unfamiliar with your surroundings and know few or no people. Deciding not to drink on vacation can have some positive effects too. You will avoid hangovers, be able to fully appreciate all the scenery, and enjoy all the culture and excursions that you paid so much money to experience.