More than half of Brits drink more on holiday than they would at home
More than half (57%) of British holidaymakers drink more alcohol when they're on holiday than they do at home, with 13% admitting to losing at least one day of their holiday to a terrible hangover, according to research from Gocompare.com.
With 72% also suggesting they're more daring during their holiday, the combination of a few too many Sangrias and the temptation to try things they'd never consider at home could prove disastrous and may even invalidate their travel insurance.
Most travel insurance policies include an exclusion about claims resulting from drinking too much alcohol. Whilst in the past travel insurers have tended to only enforce the exclusion in the most serious of cases, earlier this year the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) warned that travel insurers were cracking down on claims where an overindulgence of alcohol played a significant factor in the incident which led to the claim. This could mean insurers might decline to reimburse a bill for medical treatment after injuring yourself when very drunk or turn down a claim for lost possessions if you're robbed or lose your wallet, purse, phone or camera etc during a big night out.
57% of British holidaymakers drink more alcohol on holiday
13% have lost at least one day of their holiday to a hangover
72% say they are more daring on holiday
8% have needed medical attention whilst on holiday
2% have needed to stay at least one night in hospital
9% do not take out any travel insurance for their trips
9% have had money, passport or property stolen whilst on holiday
57% overestimate the benefits of a European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC)
Travel insurance policies will have varying degrees of cover for different sporting activities so it's vital that you buy the cover most appropriate for what you intend to do on holiday. Most policies will provide an activity list showing what's covered under the standard policy and these will generally be no contact, low risk sports and activities. Many will offer an upgrade for an additional premium to cover other activities with a higher exposure to accident or injury such as parasailing, scuba diving or quad biking. If you think it's likely that you'll take part in some kind of dangerous sport or activity on holiday, make sure you're covered in case anything goes wrong. If you're hurt whilst participating in an activity which isn't covered by your policy the medical bill could end up being your responsibility.
Having the correct cover in place and being aware of the terms and conditions of the policy is an important part of preparing for your holiday. Worryingly, nearly one in 10 (9%) British holidaymakers choose to go abroad without having any travel insurance whatsoever and of those who do buy cover nearly a quarter (24%) don't read their travel insurance documents before they travel.
Many holidaymakers will experience circumstances usually covered by a travel insurance policy. For example, 8% of Brits have needed medical treatment for an accident or illness whilst on holiday with 2% of Brits having been involved in a road accident. Two per cent needed to spend at least one night in hospital. Nine per cent of British holidaymakers have had property such as their passport, money or other personal belongings stolen during their trip.
Fifty seven per cent of Brits also mistakenly believe that having a European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) enables them to get free medical treatment anywhere in Europe.
In fact, although an EHIC actually entitles the bearer to the same level of state medical care provided to eligible nationals of the country they're in, the provision of state care varies from country to country and does not mean that EHIC carriers can expect to be treated as they would if they visited their UK doctor or hospital. Few EU countries pay the full cost of medical treatment as you'd expect from the NHS. For example, in France a patient may be expected to pay for a consultation with a doctor but will have up to 70% of the cost reimbursed later. The patient may also be expected to contribute to the cost of staying in a hospital overnight.
With an EHIC emergency treatment may be provided for free or at a reduced cost in European Economic Area (EEA) countries but an EHIC won't help you in Turkey for instance as it is not a member of the EEA.
An EHIC also does not cover the cost of medical repatriation from any destination if you need to be flown home under medical supervision. The costs of arranging air ambulance flights can run into tens of thousands of pounds and you'll receive no help from the Government in getting you home.
Jeremy Cryer, head of Travel at Gocompare.com, said: "Holidays should be a time for having fun and trying out new things, but it's important to have the right travel insurance in place and to be aware of any terms and conditions the insurer may enforce if you have to make a claim.
"Insurers expect holidaymakers to let their hair down and enjoy a few drinks but go too far and they may refuse to pay any claims which occur as a result of your drunken behaviour. If a heavy drinking session ends in a visit to A&E your insurer may argue that you acted negligently and refuse to pay the medical bill. Drink in moderation and you not only reduce the risk of incidents happening, you stand a much better chance of your insurers settling your claim if anything does go wrong.
"With adventurous activities it's important to know what you are covered for. If you're feeling daring and fancy a go at parasailing be aware that if you have an accident you may not be able to claim for medical expenses if it's not an activity you're covered for on your policy. It's always best to check that you have the right cover before you buy and to read the policy documents carefully."