Question asked by: 
Date asked: 
Jun 2013
What is travel insurance and why do you need it?
For cancer patients travel insurance is the most important item in your travel bag.
Response by Dr K Shastri

On leaving the protective umbrella of the NHS, any complications while travelling abroad can be expensive, particularly in North America. 

A travel insurance policy not only provides peace of mind for medically related costs but also practical assistance in dealing with an emergency. Patients are able to call the insurer’s helpline to access immediate advice and help. For instance, InsureCancer’s help desk is multilingual and therefore able to bridge the language gap when dealing with medical teams abroad.

Travelling without travel insurance can be costly.
Response by Fiona Macrae

Travel insurance is generally a short term insurance policy that covers travel related emergencies and out of pocket expenses. It usually covers loss of baggage, emergency medical treatment, bringing you home (repatriation) after an accident or incident, cancellation or cutting short your holiday (curtailment), legal, public liability and personal accident cover. 

Some policies offer you more cover, others less. Make sure you read what is and is not covered before you buy it. 

Travelling without travel insurance can be costly if something goes wrong. For example if you accidently break something in the hotel or apartment you are staying in. Insurance is to cover the unexpected, and accidents do happen.