India is cheap to travel and has cheap healthcare, but don’t let that make you think you don’t need travel insurance here. You do need travel insurance in India as a traveler. I have been living and traveling in India since 2012. I’ve had my fair share of hospital visits in those years!
In this article, I’m going to share:
- When you might need travel insurance in India
- What I consider the best international travel insurance for travel in India and anywhere else, the company I personally use, World Nomads
- What is included in your coverage plus what is and is not covered by World Nomads
- Where you can buy travel insurance online for India travel
- Examples of prices of insurance for India travel through World Nomads
- Compare travel insurance India: other travel insurance companies in India my readers have used and found good deals
Things in India you might need travel insurance for
There are times during your trip to India where you might need travel insurance. I’ll break down the most common instances of injuries and other issues with travel India. Here are some instances that having insurance would save your butt and make sure you don’t lose any money:
-You might end up canceling your trip due to stress or a friend bailing; this happens a lot to my readers.
-Your luggage might get lost. This has happened to me twice in India.
-You might have your backpack or luggage stolen.
-You break your camera, laptop, or other important belongings during the trip.
-You are going to be riding a scooter in India or will be traveling by road or train; accidents are common in India and a broken limb costs a fortune without insurance.
-You will do adventures such as riding a camel in Rajasthan, parasailing in Manali, white water rafting in Rishikesh, canyoning in Goa, bungee jumping in Goa, Cliff jumping in Hampi, trekking and camping in the Himalayas, jet skiing or surfing in Pondicherry, SUP, mountain biking, and even safaris.
-You might get food poisoning, Malaria, Dengue Fever (it’s rough), Typhoid (a friend just had it), break an arm, or get an infection.
-You are so injured or sick that you need a family member to fly over here and help you get an emergency evacuation flight home.
These are things that insurance will reimburse you for!
Travel Insurance India: The Best Travel Insurance in India
I use World Nomads when I travel and have for 8 years. Why? It’s always noted as the best in the business. Here is what I look for in a travel insurance company and this is what World Nomads is known for:
- They have fair prices.
- They reimburse easily and without hassle. There are hundreds of reviews by bloggers who have had to file a claim with them and got their payment immediately and without issues.
- They cover adventure activities in their baseline insurance (more on that later).
- Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Tour Radar, Intrepid and other companies that I know and trust, all recommend World Nomads.
- You can extend your policy while you are traveling (very rare to find a company that allows this)
- Open to people from over 150 countries
- Customer service available 24/7 to ask questions or file a claim
World Nomads ticks all my boxes. It was an easy choice for me years ago even on a tiny backpacker budget to use them, and to this day as a more mid-range traveler, I still use them. In India, it is the #1 company I recommend.
What is and is not included in your World Nomads travel insurance:
When you check a quote for World Nomads, you can choose standard insurance or explorer insurance. They each have different itemized results of what is covered. I use the standard insurance. The standard insurance covers MANY adventure activities, like getting hurt falling off a camel (actually listed as covered, lol) but doesn’t cover extreme things like heli-skiing. You can see a full list here.
For both, you have coverage for hospital stays, emergency flights home, flight delay and cancellation reimbursement, lost luggage, theft, and more. You can see a full comparison in this article where I break down the two plans and what is and is not included.
There are only two times I would upgrade to the “explorer” insurance:
- If I were renting a car. Collision damage is included on the explorer which means you can decline the coverage offered by the rental car company which is usually WAY WAY higher. This is KEY. If you will be renting a car in Goa (the only place in India I recommend it) then get this.
- If I were doing serious adventures the whole trip. For example heli-skiing, ice climbing, or deep cave diving. India does offer some of these, so check out what you want to do.
Read More: What is and is not included on World Nomads insurance & which plan to choose
Buying travel insurance for India online
It’s easy to buy travel insurance online. For most companies, that is the best way to do it – not via the phone. Make sure you double check all the information you are entering and print off a copy of your policy. Jot down the number you would call in the case you need to make a claim. Be sure to read the fine print of any policy you are planning on buying.
Hospitals in India are modern and do cost a decent chunk of money so don’t be fooled into thinking your insurance won’t matter here or they won’t understand it. They will – show it to the hospital and call to make a claim immediately.
Keep all paperwork regarding your claims like a police report in the instance of theft or a hospital bill if you are injured.
Compare travel insurance costs in India based on the amount of time you are visiting India
If you are coming to India for one week, one month, or six months, the cost will change significantly. I am doing a search now based on an American travel (just because most of my readers are American) so you can see the actual results.
One Month Travel Insurance India
The standard plan is $131 and the explorer plan is $190. If you break down the standard plan, it comes to $4.22 per day.
Two Months Travel Insurance India
The standard plan is $187 and the explorer plan is $269. If you break down the standard plan, it comes to $3.11 per day. As you can see, the price goes down per day the longer you stay.
Six Months Travel Insurance India (the maximum you can stay in India)
The standard plan is $595 and the explorer plan is $804. If you break down the standard plan, it comes to $3.30 per day. This is about the same per day as if you stay just two months.
World Nomads isn’t the cheapest insurance online – but it covers A LOT and that is why everyone from Lonely Planet to Rough Guides and Frommers recommends them. You will find cheaper insurance, but I cannot vouch it will be good insurance.
My two cents is that you NEED travel insurance big time and you have to just budget this into your trip in India. Most people come here for just two months, so just save up an extra $187 and get your butt covered.
Get your own quote for World Nomads below. Just fill in the required information and your dates to see what it might cost for you.
Comments and a comparison of other companies my readers have used and liked
I run a Facebook group for travelers coming to India where they give and get tips. You can request to join it here. They discuss travel insurance a lot so I thought I’d share some of the comments and questions they’ve noted.
When someone asked which travel insurance they would look into, here were the responses, although I cannot vouch if the companies other than WN are good or what they cover, so do you research:
“I’ve been shoppping around for some travel insurance and I’m quite shocked by the prices. I just wondered what sort of quotes others have had for long term travel. For 6 months, 35 year old male with no medical conditions, all my quotes are in the region of £300. Is this normal?”
“I think I paid 1k for a year. 300 is not unreasonable, especially for what it offers in case of emergency.”
“I used World Nomads (after reading their terms of service VERY carefully) and the one claim I submitted to them was paid in full and work out perfectly. Dude, if you get hit by a bus in India and need to be airlifted to Bangkok you going to wish to god that you would have spent $1,000. Is it likely to happen? hell yes, it is, the drivers are insane!”
“We did ours through a comparison website and the cheapest for us was Explorer Travel Insurance (for 2 adults, ages 24 and 29). It came to around £300 ($421) for the two of us for a year! Obviously look into what you’re doing but ours included insurance for extreme sports too!”
“I paid $750 for 364 days with Seven Corners.”
“I picked up a 5-star policy with Gowalkabout for £99 ($139) with a 10% discount down to £88. This was their mid-range policy which covers me for much more than needed, but the basic was well… basic.”
When someone asked if they really did need travel insurance in India, here are some of the actual comments from members of the group:
“I was so so happy to have an insurance, it makes it so much easier when you’re sick or something gets stolen and I always had someone from my home country to phone at all times… I’d say it is definitely worth the money!”
“Depends. If you have lots of money or help at home if something happens by chance then I’d say no. But on the other hand, you can find cheap insurance. Good to have for peace of mind! Mostly I worry about having it in the case of accident or illness.”
“Although I am a total believer in things always working out well, it’s definitely smart to have. Just in case your luggage gets stolen or you do end up needing medical care, it’s good to have! (I once ended up in the hospital with salmonella poisoning and was so happy insurance took care of everything!)
“Absolutely non-negotiable to travel without it. I wish they would make it a requirement as part of visa applications or purchasing a ticket. I’ve been travelling for 2 months and have read more than 5 serious stories where people have fallen through rooftops/been in scooter accidents/slipped down waterfalls etc and now they don’t have enough money for the correct treatment and so are stuck in government hospitals trying to raise funds on GoFundMe to get the injured person medical care or a medical evacuation to somewhere with better doctors. I know of families in the US who have had to refinance their houses because their children traveled without medical insurance and they were in a serious accident which they couldn’t afford to pay for. My two cents but really if you can afford to travel then you should factor insurance into your calculations as much as you do accommodation & travel costs.”
“I broke a crown in Nepal and was VERY happy I had my travel insurance (with World Nomads). Also, if you are planning to trek above a certain elevation, make sure your insurance covers that. I’ve heard WN is one of the only ones that doesn’t require additional coverage (but haven’t confirmed this so please do your research). It’s worth it!”
“Absolutely! It’s vital. A friend of mine was involved in a dreadful bus accident. Paralysed from the neck down. After three months she finally was stable enough to go home with a doctor and a nurse accompanying her on the flight.”
“I would not advise going without insurance! Trust me, if shit really happens (road accidents being the most), the hospital might even not treat you in an emergency case if there is no insurance! I have encountered quite a few tragedies where people died in hospital before the help (as in relatives with cash) arrived, and in the end, you will pay a fortune because they know you don’t have another choice! Sorry to be so negative, but it’s a not a matter to take lightly. India hospitals are pretty terrifying already! Don’t save a few bucks which can save your life!”
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This was what I was looking for.
Can’t wait to explore India.
what make you stay and live in india, how is it day to day life there?
Rachel, I cannot thank you enough for the dummies guide to get a visa for India.