CHOICE travel insurance buying guide mentions alcohol-related exclusions for insurance:


Cover for overdoing it on vodka and Red Bull and float-tubing down a river in Laos isn't included in any policy. Insurers simply won't pay for costs arising from you being under the influence of alcohol or a drug (except where taken under the advice of a doctor).

Case study: Jenny*

Jenny was nightclubbing with friends in Bali, Indonesia, when she became ill after drinking a cocktail. Her friends recognised the symptoms of methanol poisoning and rushed her to hospital.

Fortunately, Jenny recovered after two weeks of care. But because she had been drinking alcohol at the time she was poisoned, her insurer refused to pay the claim.

Jenny's cash-strapped family had to sell their car to pay the $25,000 in medical expenses.

Alcohol and travel insurance: how does drinking impact your cover? has a look at various travel insurance policies, and lists alcohol-related exclusions for them. For what it's worth, it mentions that just because a company has an exclusion, it's not necessarily a blanket exclusion, such as Southern Cross Travel Insurance (expanded on in their blog post They say "Nothing good happens after midnight!").

I'm aware of the risks of excessive drinking, and I'm not a big drinker - I'm often the only person in a gathering that isn't drinking, but I occasionally have a foreign drink or two when travelling, such as sake or plum wine.

Is it practical to find travel insurance for Australians that has no alcohol-related exclusions at all?

  • 4
    Depends on the country perhaps? (+1 in any case)
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 7:58
  • @Relaxed oops, fixed.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 8:19
  • 1
    Would you be interested in policies that differentiate between drinking (say one or two drinks), and being inebriated? (I don't have an answer; I'm just also curious after reading your question!)
    – Tim Malone
    Commented Jul 10, 2016 at 20:37
  • 1
    I once had a policy that excluded anything that happened if you or anyone you were with was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. So get mugged walking back from dinner, totally sober, but your mate had a beer? Out of luck.
    – Molomby
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 5:41

1 Answer 1



Alcohol exclusions are standard in all widely available travel insurance policies, for at least denial of boarding and injury but possibly also for damage. For a sufficient premium almost all future eventualities are insurable but a policy for a specific individual cannot be considered practical even if the premium is less than the maximum sum insured.

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