What should my travel insurance for India include?
Travel insurance for India can come in different levels of cover, ranging from basic to comprehensive. A top-tier policy will typically offer cover for:
- Overseas medical treatment and hospital expenses
- Trip cancellation, amendment and delay costs
- Lost, damaged or stolen luggage and personal belongings
- Stolen cash
- Hire car excess
- Personal liability
- Some sports and activities
- Permanent disability and loss of income
- Accidental death
- Dependents under 18
- 24/7 emergency assistance.
You should always read the policy wording of your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), which outlines your cover, policy terms, sub-limits, conditions and exclusions.
What should I consider before taking out travel insurance for India?
When looking for a travel insurance policy for your trip to India, you should take into account:
- Which parts of India you’re travelling to. Some parts of India may not be ideal to visit due to civil unrest, violent protests and terrorism.1 You can keep up to date with potential dangers by checking the travel warnings on Smartraveller.
- What activities you’ll be doing. This might include tours, adventure sports, renting a car or riding a motorcycle or scooter.
- The value of your cash, contents and personal belongings. Should you need to claim for the theft or loss of checked-in baggage and belongings, you should know the value of your possessions.
- The cost of your trip. This includes flights, other transportation, accommodation and attractions you’d like to visit, as well as the level of cover you will need for your trip.
- Pre-existing medical conditions. Consider your current and potential healthcare and medical needs, including pre-existing diseases and other medical conditions. It’s important you find out what your policy includes and what it doesn’t when it comes to medical conditions.
- Who you’re travelling with. For example, if you’re planning to travel with your family, you may want to consider family travel insurance instead of taking out individual cover. This will usually cover the policy holder as well as their spouse and dependents.
India travel insurance: Exclusions and what to watch out for
Travel insurance for India can come with a set of general exclusions. Generally, travel insurance doesn’t provide cover for:
- Travelling against government advice or warning (these are listed on the Australian Government’s website, Smartraveller)
- Negligence leading to loss or damage of personal belongings and valuables (e.g., forgetting your luggage outside your hotel)
- Trip cancellations due to change of mind or unpreparedness (e.g., forgetting to renew your passport)
- Extreme or high-risk sports and activities (e.g., white water rafting, skydiving)
- Hire car excess if the accident was caused by breaking the law
- Claims caused by drug or alcohol-related activities
- Claims resulting from unlawful activities
- Loss or injuries from unapproved pre-existing conditions
- Acts of war, terrorism or civil unrest.
In cases like these, your insurance claim may be rejected. However, some things that are generally considered exclusions may be covered if you have a comprehensive insurance policy or you’ve purchased additional extras; for example, adventure activities and extreme sports. You should always understand the specifics of what your international travel insurance policy covers by reading your policy documents.
Top travel tips for India
1. Check in regularly with Smartraveller
If you’re travelling to India, you should check in regularly with Smartraveller, which issues country-specific travel advice and warnings for more than 170 nations around the world.
By signing up to the free email and SMS service, you can even receive this advice, alerts and up-to-date information straight to your inbox. Remember, however, that registering with Smartraveller doesn’t guarantee you consular assistance if you get into trouble in another country. See the Consular Services Charter for more information.
2. Check your passport and visa requirements
If you’re travelling to India as an Australian national, you should make sure your passport is in good condition and valid for at least six months from the date you plan to leave India.
Australian citizens also require a valid visa for entry into India. The easiest way to get an Indian visa is to apply for an e-tourist visa online at least four days before your departure, which are valid for up to 60 days. If you plan to stay longer, you’ll need to apply for a tourist visa extension in person. However, not all international airports in India will accept an e-tourist visa, so plan your trip accordingly or apply for a regular visa through an Indian embassy or consulate.
3. Check your travel immunisations are up to date
Travelling to a developing nation like India means you could be exposed to infectious diseases. So, before you head off on your trip, make sure you’re caught up with all your vaccinations. Consult a doctor or visit a travel health clinic before you depart for the latest information.
The following vaccines may be recommended for your trip to India:
- Hepatitis A and B
- Japanese encephalitis
- Dengue fever
- Yellow fever.1
You may also want to pack medication for traveller’s diarrhoea in case you consume contaminated food or water. Check with your doctor to ensure that such medication is suitable for you.
4. Familiarise yourself with local laws and customs
Remember that while you may be an Australian national, you’ll be subject to India’s local laws and penalties when you enter the country. So, do your research on local laws and customs before you travel to avoid trouble.
Some illegal activities in India include:
- Failing to carry your passport at all times
- Trespassing or taking pictures or videos of airports, military establishments, dams and certain places of worship
- Intentionally maiming or killing a cow
- Flying drones without official permission.1
India also has a strict social code of dress and behaviour. If in doubt, always dress conservatively and take care not to offend or provoke anyone. You should also be aware that physical contact between men and women in public is frowned upon.
Find out more about travel insurance for Asia.