Spirituality, cacophony and colour

  • Trusted by:

Essential travel insurance tips for travelling through India

A young woman sorts chilli peppers in Jodhpur, India
Photo: Bartosz Hadyniak
A young woman sorts chilli peppers in Jodhpur, India

Culinary delight or medical emergency?

So you’ve arrived in India, homeland of tikka, korma, and madras curry. There’s just one little thing lurking, ready to knock you and your travel plans off their feet… gastro!

Otherwise known as “Rangoon runs”, “Delhi belly”, or just plain diarrhea, it singlehandedly derails more Nomads’ trips to the Taj than any other insurance claim in India. Many Nomads have experienced gastro before, and know the standard precautions to take: check the seals on bottles, wash your hands, and only eat steaming hot food that’s cooked in front of you.

What you may not be ready for is the impact of a full-blown episode of authentic, Indian-food inspired gastro that scoffs at the western medicine you may have in your backpack and throws it back in your face… literally. Indian gastro typically hangs around a lot longer than you might expect if not treated with the right medication early. Combine that with the often-unrelenting heat of an Indian summer, and dehydration can leave you very ill. We recommend travelers with a World Nomads policy contact us earlier rather than later if they get a bout of gastro in India – we really don’t want you to miss seeing the Taj or, even worse, your connecting flight to Indonesia.

A local operator can help you place a reverse charges call to our 24-hour, 7 days a week team who are trained to deal with these situations, or you can look to claim back the cost of the call later. We’ll be able to give you info on what to do next, help locate local suitable medical facilities where you can be seen by a medical professional who can prescribe antibiotics or other medication and, if necessary, arrange hospitalization depending on the severity of your gastro.

Policies vary, but cover can include emergency local medical expenses and the costs of your trip being interrupted if the furthest you’re able to travel is to the toilet and back.

"Check the seals on bottles, wash your hands, and only eat steaming hot food that’s cooked in front of you." A vendor cooking street food from his cart in Amber, Rajasthan
Photo: Terry J Alcorn
"Check the seals on bottles, wash your hands, and only eat steaming hot food that’s cooked in front of you." A vendor cooking street food from his cart in Amber, Rajasthan

Lightening your load… and your valuables

Even our experienced Nomads have found Indian pickpockets to be some of the most brazen and bold in the world. Before you hop on that 15-hour Mumbai to Goa bus, there are some things you need to know, because if you don’t take the right precautions, your policy may not cover you for theft. Cover varies between our insurance providers (so make sure you read the policy terms and conditions), but generally, our insurers tell us that travelers must be able to show they took “reasonable care” to protect their valuables.

In India, this means if you leave your bags where they might be rifled through – such as at your feet on a busy bus, in the train baggage compartment or with people you’ve only just met – you may lose your cover. Beautiful India… gorgeous, exotic, stunning and oh so dangerous for the unprepared. Before you head off on the Spice Trail, here are the top 3 tips to help protect yourself and your gear. 

In essence, if your country’s government advice is to not travel to a particular area in India, your travel insurance can be void if you book or travel there. Lock your luggage and use under-clothing wallet holders for important documents, passport, and credit cards, with a small amount of rupee on hand for the journey’s expenses. Take turns sleeping on public transport, never leave your bags unattended or with someone you’ve just met, and always stay aware.

One of our Nomads reported having his bag stolen from under his sleeping head, so if it’s not zipped in, padlocked, and secured out of sight, be prepared to lose it. Before you travel, make sure you have receipts for your valuables, and scatter the customary passport, bank details, and photocopies throughout your bags. You will need a police report to claim, and even though those local Indian police stations can be frustrating to deal with, do try to get something in writing and document everything you do – the more information you can provide with your claim, the better.

Rush in Jodhpur Market
Photo: Xavier Arnau
Rush in Jodhpur Market

Hidden treasure or dangerous conflict zone?

If you want to go off-the-beaten-track in India, you really need to do your research first to ensure you’re not going to void your travel insurance, or worse, end up in jail, injured, or dead. As they’re often disputed and unmarked, borders between India and its neighbors can be particularly risky to travel to. Our policy varies according to the warnings from your country of residence.

In essence, if your country’s government advice is to not travel to a particular area in India, your travel insurance can be void if you book or travel there, intentionally putting yourself in harm’s way. Common areas that many countries recommend you do not travel to in India include:

  • In the north, the areas of Jammu, Kashmir and Srinagar (including Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonamarg) experience sporadic terrorist activity and violent demonstrations, which travelers might get caught up in.

  • To the west, various warnings exist for the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab due to landmines and unexploded ordnance.

  • To the east, areas in Assam bordering Bangladesh, and areas in Manipur and Nagaland bordering Myanmar may be “No Travel” areas due to the risk of insurgency.

Getting kidnapped, murdered, or injured is never fun, and even if none of that happens, with void travel insurance, if anything goes wrong, you’re entirely on your own. You should check your policy and your government’s current list of travel warnings before you book your travel to India. If you’re not sure, contact us.

All of the information we provide about travel insurance is a brief summary only. It does not include all terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions of the travel insurance plans described. Coverage may not be available for residents of all countries, states or provinces.

Travel Insurance Benefits: how we can take care of you*

Trip Cancellation

Been working hard for your trip?

We'll work hard to protect it.

Trip Protection
  • Unexpectedly hospitalised?
  • Travel buddy unfit to travel?
  • Close relative suddenly dies?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Expenses

Feeling fit and healthy? What if you get sick or injured?

Take the pain out of medical or dental costs.

Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Need meds quick?
  • Accidentally injured?
  • Suddenly sick?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Transportation

Know where the nearest hospital is?

Don’t stress, we’ll get you there quickly.

Evacuation and Repatriation
  • Banged up abroad?
  • Need a hospital urgently?
  • Medivac home?

Help starts here.

Protect your gear

Love photography, filming or sport?

Cover your bags, tech or gear.

Protect your gear
  • Passport or tech stolen?
  • Airline lost your gear?
  • Bags delayed?

Help starts here.

  • Emergency Overseas Medical & Dental Expenses
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation
  • Trip Cancellation or Interruption
  • 24-Hour Assistance Services
  • Baggage
  • And more (depending on your country of residence)
*This is a general summary only. Restrictions, exclusions and limitations will apply. Coverage may not be available for all countries, states or provinces. Benefit limits may vary depending on the plan chosen. Get a quote for full details.

24/7 emergency assistance

Whether you need medical assistance or emergency evacuation, our teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year before and during your trip.

Are you in need of emergency assistance right now?

Contact the team
Wherever you are, we’re here 24/7 to help you in any emergency.
Aurelie's portrait photo
Aurelie Menard,
Emergency Assistance, World Nomads

Tell us your travel details

Travel insurance. Simple & flexible.

Travel insurance for independent travelers and intrepid families. Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on their trip, but these things can and do happen. So be prepared and get your travel insurance today.

World Nomads Travel Insurance was reviewed on Trust Pilot on 1st August 2017 and rated 4 stars