Travel Insurance India
Once you've booked all the components of your holiday to India — your hotel, flights and any organised trips once you're there — the next thing to tick off your to-do list is booking your travel insurance policy. India is a vast and incredibly diverse country, so you'll want suitable cover in place as a security precaution, regardless of your plans. Knowing that you are covered against insurable, unforeseen circumstances that are beyond your control can help give you that added peace of mind, allowing you to fully relax and enjoy your dream holiday to India with the best travel insurance for you.
For centuries, Brits have been fascinated with India's alluring, vibrant and incandescent culture, and it is still one of the most popular destinations amongst holidaymakers. The best time to visit India is between October and March where the weather is beautifully warm and sunny — a perfect (Brexit-free) winter sun escapism from the doom and gloom of the British winter months.
A travel insurance policy with Holiday Extras will protect you against unforeseen medical expenses, cancellations, lost baggage and, if necessary, repatriation. We also offer cover for the majority of pre-existing medical conditions.
Compare travel insurance India cover levels
With Holiday Extras, arranging your India travel insurance is completely hassle-free and just a few clicks away. 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.
Access to good medical care while abroad is usually most travellers' priority when taking out a travel insurance policy. In India, health care is universal, however there tends to be a discrepancy between quality of medical care between rural and urban, highly populated areas, as well as between public and private facilities. Some are privately run and as a result, rather expensive. In the more remote rural areas, access to healthcare can be very limited.
For these reasons, it may be worth considering taking out a travel insurance India policy that includes sufficient medical cover that will meet your needs in case of an emergency, and especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. Be sure to declare any pre-existing medical conditions when booking, and we will tailor a policy specifically suited to your needs.
India: at a glance
- How long is the flight to India from UK? The shortest direct flight takes roughly 8 hours 30 minutes
- How many hours ahead is India? India is 5:30 hours ahead of the UK and run on India Standard Time (IST)
- What is the main language spoken in India? There are 22 officially recognised languages in India, with 1,652 languages spoken in the country. The national and most popular language is Hindi, followed by Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Bengali and Tamil
- What is the currency in India? Rupee
- What is the emergency number in India? India's all-emergency number is '112', but is also broken down to police (100) and women (1090)
- What religions are there in India? The major religions in India are Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism and the Bahá`í Faith
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. Although vaccinations aren't required for you to enter the country, our policy will not cover medical conditions if they develop because you do not have the required immunisation. The exact vaccinations needed 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.
For more information, please check with the NHS' guidelines on travel vaccinations.
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 (March to May) is pre-monsoon season and the 'cool' season is October to March — so plan accordingly.
4. Currency and the cost of living
India uses the rupee as its 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 often the only accepted form of payment.
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 eateries.
- Tipping - If you're in a sit down restaurant, it's customary to add about 5-10% of the bill 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.
- 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 of grateful the hand wipes!
Getting around in India
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 a solid choice.
- 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.
- Avoid rush hour if you can: If possible, 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 for safety.
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 often 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.
Activities to make your holiday to India 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 and 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.
Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is sold and administered by Holiday Extras Cover Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 828848.
Holiday Extras™ is a Trading Name of Holiday Extras Cover Limited
Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is provided by Taurus Insurance Services, an insurance intermediary licenced and authorised in Gibraltar by the Financial Services Commission under Permission Number 5566 and authorised to passport general insurance intermediary services into the UK and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under registration number 444830.
The insurance is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited. Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales with company number 13436330 and whose registered office address is 10 Fenchurch Avenue, London, United Kingdom, EC3M 5BN. Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 955859. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting; register.fca.org.uk or by contacting the Financial Conduct Authority on 0800 111 6768.