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Travel insurance for India
India is a vast and incredibly diverse country, so you'll want the right worldwide travel insurance to protect you, no matter which area you visit. Once you've taken out travel insurance that's suitable for your trip to India, you can really relax, knowing that you are covered for the trip you've been waiting for. You'll have cover in place for cancellations and lost baggage, and your policy will include reassuring medical cover for declared medical conditions, and unforeseen medical expenses.
India travel advice
- Be aware of heavy monsoon rains affecting north Bengal, Assam and north-east India resulting in disruption of train services and roadways
Choosing your insurance provider
With Holiday Extras, arranging your India travel insurance is quick and simple. We offer 4 levels of cover:
- Bronze - provides cancellation cover of £1000 per person, medical cover of £5 million, and £500 baggage cover.
- Silver - provides £2,500 cancellation cover per person, £10 million medical costs, and £1,500 baggage cover.
- Gold - provides £5,000 of cancellation cover per person, £2,000 baggage cover, and £10 million in medical cover.
- Platinum - provides £5,000 of cancellation cover per person, £2,000 personal possessions cover, £10 million in medical cover and £500 personal money, passport and documents cover .
What do you need from an India Travel Insurance policy?
Comprehensive medical insurance
Proper medical care is available in India, though this tends to only be in the major cities and is often privately run and expensive. In the more remote rural areas, access to adequate healthcare can be very limited. For these reasons, it's really important to make sure that your travel insurance policy includes proper medical cover that will meet your needs in case of an emergency.
Holiday Extras provide multiple levels of medical cover for you to choose from, all of which cover you for emergency medical treatment and repatriation back to the UK.
Easy claiming under medical travel insurance
Making a claim for emergency medical treatment with Holiday Extras is simple. Just remember that most insurers provide their medical cover through reimbursement, after you have given proof of having received the treatment. For this reason, make sure you have access to adequate funds before going abroad, so you can pay for any emergency treatment, and remember to keep hold of any receipts to make claiming back easier.
As well as taking out a good level of medical cover, you should also make sure to have a well-stocked first aid kit to hand, especially if you plan to visit more rural, remote areas. Insect borne diseases are common and it can be all too easy to fall ill during your trip. With only very basic healthcare in many areas, having a simple first aid kit can be invaluable.
If you need to seek medical attention whilst abroad, please ensure that you contact the 24-hour Emergency Assistance Service for help and advice before treatment, where possible, full details can be found within the policy wording. We would advise you to keep this number in your mobile phone and give it to anyone else you are travelling with.
Theft and Loss cover
Having reliable theft and loss cover is a must for travelling to India. In popular tourist areas like Goa, Agra and Jaipur, theft, confidence scams and muggings are not uncommon. Whilst caution and common sense will help you avoid most situations, it's wise to have a solid back up plan in the form of personal possessions insurance.
Should you have to make a claim, remember that you'll need to provide a police report obtained within 24 hours of the incident, along with some proof of ownership for the lost or stolen item.
Sports and adventure travel insurance
India has a lot to offer the bold adventurer- from wild jungle tours in Gujarat to treks up the frozen Zanskar river. If you plan to take on challenges like these during your trip, it may be a good idea to check whether your travel insurance policy covers you for sporting and adventurous activities.
Holiday Extras travel insurance policies provide cover for over 100 different sporting activities as standard. For higher risk activities, you may need to take out an sports package. You can check out our sports insurance page to see if any activities you have planned are covered.
Needless to say, you should make sure that your travel insurance policy for India covers you for worldwide travel and not just European travel. At Holiday Extras, you can get comprehensive worldwide cover from £17.11*.
India travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it shouldn't be too difficult to find a travel insurance policy that will cover you properly. When booking with Holiday Extras, simply declare any pre-existing medical conditions you may have, and we will tailor a policy specifically suited to your needs.
Booking your policy
Making your booking is completely hassle-free whether you choose to do so online or via our UK call centre. Simply fill in our travel insurance quote form above to choose your policy or place a call to our support team who are on hand to help you if you have any questions and to assist you with making payments.
Things you need to know before you go
Consult your GP roughly four to eight weeks in advance of your trip to make sure you're up-to-date with any relevant vaccinations. Our policy will not cover medical conditions if they develop because you do not have the required immunisation.
There are a number of different types of visa for entry to India, including the transit visa that allows you to travel across the country. With a tourist visa, your maximum length of stay in India is 90 days.
The rainy monsoon season in India lasts for four months, from June to September. The 'hot' season is before the monsoon and the 'cool' season after, so plan accordingly.
Currency and the cost of living
India uses the rupee as it's main currency, with notes coming in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 2000 and coins in 1, 2, 5 and 10 paises.
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in restaurants and chain stores, but for the markets and street food stalls, cash is essential.
Although everything tends to be cheaper in India, be aware that hotel bars and restaurants are likely to charge 5 to 10 times more than what a local bar or restaurant will charge you. To really get the best deals, you'll need to be a little adventurous and hit the streets for good eatries (which are in abundance if you know to where to look).
Tipping - If you're in a sit down restaruant, you should add about 5-10% of the bill as for a tip unless a service charge has already been added to the bill. Be aware that the 'service charge' goes to the restaurant and it's employees, while the 'service tax' goes to the government.
Using ATMs - Be warned that ATMs can run out of cash quite quickly, and in a cash centric country like India, this can be incredibly inconvient. Our advise is to either buy a enough currency before hand in your home country, or stock up on cash at the airport.
Despite it's great wealth, India is still in many ways a 3rd world country, and it's highly likely that you'll experience some stomach problems at some point during your trip! Here are a few tips to minimize your chances of having stomach troubles ruin your trip:
Build yourself up before the trip - taking pro-biotics in the days leading up to your trip can help shore up your stomach's defenses against anything hostile it might encounter.
Get the right jabs - Although jabs aren't required for you to enter the country, it's always best to be on the safe side. The exact vaccination will differ depending on which part of the country you'll be travelling to, so you'll need to research this before booking your jabs.
Try to keep your hands clean before eating - This is easily achieved by carrying hand sanitizer or wet wipes. On long train journeys, it's not uncommon for toilets to run out of water, and in these instances, you'll be very grateful the hand wipes!
Tips for train travel
India's extensive rail network has been described as the nervous system of the country, connecting the major cities and outerlying villages. If you plan to travel any great distance within India, taking the train is your best bet.
Tourist tickets - Most of the major cities, like Mumbai will have a suburban rail network by which you can zip around town to the various neighbourhoods. Tickets are very cheap and there is sometimes the option to buy a 'Tourist Ticket' which allows you to travel on all suburban lines all day.
Travelling 1st class - It's always recommended to travel first class when taking the trains and this is really no more than a matter of comfort and safety. The second class carraiges are really only suitable for the seasoned commuter, and can be extremely rickety and over crowded. You'll especially want to travel first class if your making a long distance journey.
Know where the 1st class carriage is - Make sure you know where on the platform the first class carriages will arrive, ahead of time, otherwise it can be almost impossible to board. Look for the red and yellow striped pillars on the platform that mark out where the first class carriages will sit.
Avoid rush hour If you can, avoid using trains during between 8:00am-10:00am and 5:30-8:30pm as carriages and stations will likely be heaving with the chaos of rush hour. If you have no choice but to travel during these times, avoid standing by the train doors, as you risk being swept away in the pandemonium.
Taking a taxi?
Perhaps the second best way to get around an Indian metropolis is by taxi. Like most things in India, taxi travel is relatively cheap, and £10 will get you anywhere in the city.
Make sure the journey is metered - When getting a cab, be sure to insist on a metered journey as this will prevent any sudden inflations to the price at the end of the ride. Most taxi drivers are honest and hard-working, but be warned as the dishonest ones tend to cluster around airports and train stations.
Uber black - As well as the taxi services available around airports and train stations, you can also use Uber to book a taxi anywhere in the city, and a taxi will be with you, usually within 10 minutes of making the booking.
Activities to make your India holiday memorable
- Get down to Goa. The state was once a Portuguese colony, and is full of its own unique charm and character with almost completely untouched beaches.
- Discover the port city of Mumbai, the home of Bollywood movies that's formerly known as Bombay.
- Experience the majesty and stunning architecture of the Taj Mahal, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for more than 30 years.
- Stay for Diwali. The 'festival of light' takes place in late October or November - and if you're in the tropical south of India, there's no need to pack winter clothes.
*Price based on 1 adult aged 21 with no pre-existing medical conditions, travelling worldwide excl USA, Canada and the Caribbean, for 7 days. Price correct as of April 2019.
Holiday Extras Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: Ashford Road, Newingreen, Kent CT21 4JF. Company number 01693250.
Holiday Extras is underwritten by Travel Insurance Facilities plc which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: 2nd Floor, 1 Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, ME19 4UY. Company number 03220410.