BIBA raises awareness of alcohol exclusions in travel policies

Posted in General on 16 July 2012

BIBA, the British Insurance Broker's Association, has recently conducted research into travel insurance policies and their exclusions relating to drugs and alcohol.

Their research of 20 leading policies showed that there has been a tightening of policy wordings in relation to claims and drunken behaviour. All the policies surveyed included some form of exclusion for alcohol or illegal drugs.

BIBA warns however that these exclusions vary dramatically between insurers, some specifying a blood alcohol limit over which claims will not be paid, others will not cover claims if they believe that a claimant's judgement has been impaired by alcohol or drugs.

The Responsible Travel Insurance policy states in the General Exclusions that policy holders are not covered for any claims arising from ‘the influence of alcohol and drugs’.

While we accept that drinking alcohol is part of relaxing and drinking responsibly shouldn't pose a problem, if drinking to the point of losing control or taking illegal drugs led to an accident or hospitalisation then it would be unlikely that a claim would be covered, potentially leaving you severely out of pocket.

This could potentially ruin any backpacking or gap year travel you are embarking on, if it happens near the beginning of your adventure, particularly if you have been saving up for your overseas experience for some time.

BIBA's Graham Trudgill stated: ‘We believe that travellers will be surprised that there is such a variety of exclusions within policies and they need to understand what level of alcohol could invalidate a claim and, if excessive, it almost certainly will’.

It is also worth noting if you are travelling round Europe that it recently became a legal requirement in France to carry a breath test kit in your car.

Responsible Travel Insurance has two levels of cover to protect you while you are abroad for an extended period of time backpacking, on a gap year or some other form of sabbatical.

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