Alcohol and travel insurance 

Nothing says ‘out of office’ quite like a few poolside pina coladas, but it’s worth knowing that alcohol consumption can affect your travel insurance cover. Read on to understand the rules around alcohol and travel insurance. 


Travel insurance and alcohol- when are you covered? 

While enjoying a few drinks during your holiday may not void your travel insurance policy, intoxication leading to impaired judgment could potentially jeopardise your ability to make a successful claim. 

It is up to individuals to exercise caution and use common sense when travelling abroad. If you are injured or lose an item as a result of excessive drinking, your claim may be denied.  If you have been drinking and the alcohol consumption is not found to be a contributing factor to the event at hand, you would likely be covered. 

While alcohol consumption may be relevant when assessing your claim, in many instances it may be not be. For example, if your wallet was snatched from your hotel room safe while you were down at the bar, you would likely be covered. Or if bad weather delays your flight, those few G&T’s you downed in the airport lounge wouldn’t affect your claim. The factors that lead to your claim will always be considered and assessed on an individual basis. 

Other alcohol and drug exclusions 

Our policies also have a general exclusion relating to the treatment of alcoholism, drug addiction and substance abuse.  For example, if you had to cut your trip short due to you or a relative becoming sick due to chronic use of alcohol or drugs, you’re unlikely to be covered. 

It’s important to understand that general exclusions apply to all parts of your travel insurance policy.  Before purchasing and before departing for your trip read the PDS to understand the full terms of your cover. 


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Alcohol & Travel Insurance FAQS

  • Does 1Cover travel insurance cover alcohol consumption? 
  • Having a few drinks on holiday doesn’t mean we will reject your travel insurance claim.  
    Like most travel insurance policies, we have a general exclusion that reads along the lines of, We Will Not Pay if: You were under the influence of any intoxicating liquor or drugs except a drug prescribed to You by a Medical Adviser and taken in accordance with their instructions. 

    This exclusion would not be applied where no part of the loss that gave rise to the claim (directly or indirectly) was caused by alcohol consumption. 

  • How many drinks can I have and still be covered? 

  • 1Cover does not specify how many drinks you’re allowed to consume in order to remain covered. The impact of alcohol varies from person to person, influenced by factors such as body size, food consumption, size of the pour, and alcohol tolerance. All claims are evaluated on a case-by-case basis taking into account these variables, the circumstances of the event and terms of the policy. 

  • How do you know if I’ve been drinking when I make my claim? 
  • When lodging your claim, you are obligated to provide full transparency regarding the nature of your claim and chain of events. In addition to relying on your utmost good faith, we would usually look at police reports, medical records and hotel reports. 

    If you suffer a medical emergency abroad and require hospitalisation, you may be required to agree to a blood alcohol test or breath analysis.  Witnesses to the chain of events may also be called upon.

  • Am I covered if I’ve taken drugs? 
  • It is unlikely that you will be covered if your claim is caused by recreational drug use, even if the drug is legal at your destination. This includes the abuse of prescription medication. 



Cocktails with caution

So should you omit alcohol from your next overseas adventure? While you can certainly enjoy a few friendly bevvies, it’s important to practice moderation and keep your wits about you, particularly when you’re in an unfamiliar and potentially isolated location. 

The following are some handy hints for staying safe while consuming alcohol on holidays: 

Safety in numbers: Avoid drinking alone or walking alone at night after drinking. Be sure to check in on friends and look out for one another’s safety. 

Watch your intake: It can be tempting to drink more than usual when taking a break from everyday routine, so bear in mind that holiday drinks can pack a stronger punch than expected. Overseas alcohol servings may be larger and bartenders may not use spirit measures. Take care when adding cocktails to the mix. 

Stay in touch: Make sure you’re always contactable, particularly when travelling alone. Keeping a spare phone charger on hand at all times is advisable. 

Stay out of the water: When drinking alcohol your muscles and reflexes are slowed, numbing your senses and responses. Always avoid swimming while under the influence of alcohol. 

Know your surroundings: Certain destinations ban alcohol in public areas, and some may ban it outright. Be sure to understand local laws before you imbibe. 

Ask for help: If you do find yourself in trouble always contact local authorities and your travel insurance company as soon as possible. Keep these phone numbers saved in your phone in case of an emergency.