Beware the booze

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As a nation we do like a drink or two on holiday. Whether it’s the climate that makes us crave a nice glass of chilled white wine or the fact that alcohol is often as cheap as soft drinks but, either way, Brits abroad drink a startling £4.5 billion of alcohol a year. Those from the South West of England are the most abstemious, spending £55 per head on booze per holiday, whilst those from Northern Ireland spend more than three times that figure. Men are unsurprisingly the bigger culprits, spending on average over £100, compared with just under £70 for women.

Research by shows that not one insurance company will pay medical bills if alcohol (or for that matter drugs) was a contributory factor. You may well wonder how on earth the insurance company will ever find out whether a loose cobble or one glass too many was to blame. In most instances it will all boil down to whether or not the medical report mentions alcohol. Peter Gerrard of says, “Enjoying a drink on holiday is not a crime, but it is extremely important that people try to be sensible about alcohol consumption... Insurers are very strict about underwriting alcohol in their policy exclusions.”

If you end up being hospitalized after an accident caused by alcohol, you do not only risk having to foot the bill yourself, but it can be a pretty miserable experience being stuck in a hospital, which may not have the same standards of care and comfort as the UK and where there may be no English speaking staff. If, of course, you are unfit to travel home on a commercial flight and need medical care whilst being repatriated, the bill is likely to be huge.

To avoid being caught out, you should bear the following in mind:


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#1 Are there any companies that offer travel insurance that does cover you for accidents which happen while you are technically 'drunk'

I phoned my insurance company and they confirmed that any claim would be excluded should I be found to be drunk when any accident happened.

I'd gladly pay more for this cover.
Posted by Neil on 04/06/2008 at 17:27
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