The Financial Ombudsman Service deals with complaints from consumers who think they have been unfairly treated by financial services companies, including insurers. They have noticed an increase in certain complaint types recently and, quite unusually, chose to publish details rather than wait for their annual report.

A significant number of people had had claims for illness and injury whilst on holiday rejected because they were intoxicated at the time of the incident. Every travel insurance policy (and many other policies) have an “under the influence of alcohol” exclusion. One lady suffered a knee dislocation whilst trying to pole-dance for the first time – something she would probably never had attempted sober. A man suffered a head injury from falling onto the toilet bowl whilst trying to vomit several pints of San Miguel.

This is not insurers trying to wriggle out of paying. All they are doing is applying the terms of a legal contract, which is what an insurance policy is.

Whether this increase in claims is due to the prevalence of “all-inclusive” holidays is unclear and I know that many of us do like to imbibe whilst on holiday (I know that I do) but, as mentioned above, insurance policies are legal documents and the law also requires that both parties act “reasonably”. The definition of “reasonable” has been tested many times in the courts and definitely does not include getting so drunk that you become vulnerable.