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Newcastle Herald
Newcastle Herald
Sage Swinton

'Be informed': Hunter woman's case highlights travel insurance alcohol clauses

Kylie Enwright in hospital after suffering a fall in Thailand. Picture supplied

Travellers are being warned to check their travel insurance policies thoroughly after the story of a Hunter woman's claim for medical expenses being denied due to an alcohol clause.

The Herald reported on June 8 Kylee Enwright suffered a serious brain injury and remains in a vegetative state in Thailand after falling from a deck.

Her husband Paul Enwright set up a GoFundMe to raise money to medically evacuate Kylee after her insurance company denied their claim due to an alcohol clause in the policy.

Australian Google searches for the term "travel insurance alcohol" spiked on June 8 after the story was reported, while comments on the GoFundMe included: "I can't believe the insurance company won't help financially".

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE says most travel insurance policies have an exclusion that means they won't pay under any circumstances if the person was under the influence of any intoxicating liquor or drugs, except prescriptions taken correctly.

"That means there's a good chance your travel insurer will not pay out for any claims that arise as a result of you being under the influence of alcohol," the group said in a blog post.

Kylee's insurer Cover-More's product disclosure statement says its exclusions include claims involving impairment due to drinking too much alcohol, evidenced by a blood test showing blood alcohol concentration 0.19 per cent or above.

Cover-More said it "cannot comment on the individual or specific details of the case due to our privacy commitment", but that the decision was made "after thoroughly assessing all available details and medical information".

Paul said he was told the claim was denied due to CCTV of Kylee walking and falling and their bill from the hotel bar.

"We gave Kylee's husband, Paul, a detailed and transparent explanation for declining this claim," a Cover-More spokesperson said.

"This is a sad case, and we will continue to offer Paul and Kylee and their families all the non-financial assistance Cover-More can.

"This includes help with arranging repatriation to Australia, assisting with hospital admissions and a ground ambulance in Australia, travel arrangements and making appointments with local medical practitioners overseas or in Australia."

The Insurance Council of Australia says travel insurance policies in general will include exclusions such as loss, injury or damage under the influence of alcohol or drugs, any self-inflicted injury, the loss or theft of unattended baggage, and the loss or theft of cash.

"Travel insurance does not provide unlimited cover, and all policies have limits and exclusions, so its important to be informed and choose the right level of cover for your circumstances," a spokesperson for the insurance council said.

The story has prompted a heart-warming response to the GoFundMe page for Kylee. Donations have almost doubled from $54,000 to $100,000 in 24 hours.

To donate, visit

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