Travel Insurance That Covers Alcohol-Related Accidents

Find out what you can be covered for under your travel insurance by comparing offers here.

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, updated on September 4th, 2023       

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In most cases, being on holiday overseas or interstate is the perfect time to let your hair down and enjoy a couple of drinks, whether it’s a glass of wine or two over dinner or cocktails by the resort’s pool. However, it’s important to know what you can and can’t be covered for when it comes to alcohol-related accidents away from home.

Fortunately, comparing travel insurance policies is made simpler with Savvy. You can take the guesswork out of locking in the most suitable insurance for your situation by completing the comparison process with us and considering offers from some of Australia’s top insurers right here. Find out whether you can be covered for alcohol-related incidents here.

Does travel insurance cover alcohol-related accidents?

In most cases, no – travel insurance companies will generally enforce a blanket exclusion to incidents being claimed for which are caused by alcohol. This means that if you’re heavily intoxicated, stumble and break your arm whilst on a trip in Azerbaijan to visit family, your travel insurance company likely won’t approve your claim and cover your medical costs. The same applies if you’re away at Schoolies and lose your phone and wallet after a night of partying.

Not every insurer will enforce these rules in the same way, though, meaning you may find that some can afford more lenience if you consume alcohol before your accident. For this reason, it’s highly valuable to familiarise yourself with different policies and Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) so you can avoid any rude surprises if you go to make a claim.

Does this mean I won’t be able to make a travel insurance claim if I consumed alcohol before an accident?

No – while the alcohol exclusion still applies, it’s important to know that it isn’t necessarily a case of black and white when it comes to alcohol-related incidents. Providers will assess incidents and claims on a case-by-case basis, meaning that if you were deemed to have taken sufficient care and that your insurer determines that your alcohol consumption was immaterial to your injury, your claim may be accepted. As such, the blanket alcohol exclusion isn’t as definitive as it might seem.

Different companies will have different approaches when it comes to covering alcohol-related incidents under travel insurance policies, so whether you’re covered will largely depend on who you choose to purchase insurance with. For example, while some providers may determine whether an event is expected or unexpected from a person in an inebriated state, others will look more closely at whether the incident would have occurred at all had you consumed alcohol and the extent to which it contributed to the incident.

You may find that, in some cases, your claim is neither denied nor fully accepted. If alcohol is deemed to have played a role in your incident, you may instead only be partially covered by your insurer, meaning you’d be required to pay a more significant portion out of pocket beyond your excess alone. As such, the travel insurance comparison process is crucial, particularly regarding areas of coverage, which you can complete right here with Savvy to help find the best travel insurance for your needs.

What can I be covered for under my travel insurance policy?

While you may not be covered for an alcohol-related incident under your insurance policy, it’s important to know what it can cover you for. These areas will be covered by standard comprehensive travel insurance policies:

  • Overseas medical cover: if you’re injured or fall ill without any influence of alcohol, you can be covered for the expenses incurred by treatment in a medical facility abroad. This cover is offered without limit, meaning there won’t be a cap on the amount you can claim for as long as you pay the required excess.
  • Overseas emergency transportation and evacuation: being transported to the hospital is an often-essential step in the treatment process, but this doesn’t mean it’s cheap. This can range from an ambulance to a helicopter and also includes cover for evacuation from remote areas. If your condition is serious, your policy can also cover your evacuation and repatriation to Australia.
  • Loss or theft of, or damage to, personal items: should you misplace a valuable personal effect, have it stolen or damaged whilst on holiday, you can generally be reimbursed up to a set limit (depending on the item) to have it fixed or replaced. However, alcohol could spell the end of your chances to claim.
  • Cancellations: life doesn’t always go according to plan, so if you’re required to cancel part or all of your trip, you can be covered for any cancellation fees charged or refunds not granted by your travel insurance policy. Being injured or falling ill as a result of alcohol consumption before your trip won’t be covered, however.
  • Personal liability: while you can be covered for up to $5 million for any legal trouble you may find yourself in if you’re considered liable for injury to another person or damage to their property, being under the influence will likely result in your cover being limited or voided.
  • Hire car excess: hire car excess protection isn’t always automatically included in your policy, as you may have to pay extra to include it, but can offer between $5,000 and $10,000 worth of cover.

More questions about travel insurance and alcohol-related accidents

Do alcohol-related exclusions extend to non-travellers?

They can – however, it’ll depend on the insurer and the situation. For example, if a family member is hospitalised suffering from alcohol poisoning while you’re on holiday in Africa and you decide to return home early, not all insurers will cover the cost of cancelling your trip. That’s why it’s crucial to read through the PDS before you purchase your policy, as you’ll want to be as clear as possible on what is and isn’t covered.

Will I be covered if my drink is spiked?

Again, this will depend on the incident being claimed for and the extent to which your alcohol consumption affected you. If your drink is spiked and you require medical treatment, showing to your insurer that a crime committed against you caused the event, rather than just drinking too much, will maximise your chances of having your claim signed off on. This may involve supplying police reports or blood or urine samples proving that you were spiked. In any event, though, it’s crucial to always take care to avoid spiking, such as not leaving your drink unattended and buying your own.

Do the same exclusions apply to drug use?

Yes – in the same way that alcohol exclusions apply, drug use will also void most claims in which it’s a factor. The exception to this exclusion is if the drugs consumed were prescribed to you by a medical professional.

Will I have to take a breathalyser after an accident to prove how much alcohol I’ve had?

Not always – whether you’re breathalysed or have to take a test to determine your blood alcohol reading will depend on the nature of the incident you’ve experienced and where you are in the world. For example, if you’re involved in a car accident, you’re more likely to be breathalysed than if you tripped climbing the stairs at your hotel and sprained your wrist.

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We do not compare all travel insurance brands currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and does not consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

Savvy earns a commission from our partners each time a customer buys a travel insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via their websites.

Before purchasing your policy, we recommend you refer to the provider’s PDS for any further information on the terms, inclusions and exclusions.

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