Ombudsman received 2,000 complaints about rejected claims, of which 53% were upheld

The Financial Ombudsman (FOS) has issued a warning to travel insurers about rejecting claims where the claimant has had an accident while under the influence of alcohol.

The (FOS) received 2,000 complaints in 2013 from people who thought their travel insurance claim had been turned down unfairly after they had an accident after a “couple of drinks”.

Of these, 53% of claims were upheld, up from 42% in 2011.

The FOS said businesses are not settling claims in line with their established approach.

The ombudsman added that while most travel policies exclude coverage of accidents following excessive alcohol consumption, that does not mean holidaymakers have to completely cut out alcohol on holiday.

Insurers are advised not to use terms like “alcohol abuse” of “alcoholism” when medical evidence shows claimants have only had one or two drinks and that it is up to the insurer to prove that an exclusion applies.