when I go to America or Canada I buy the insurance from that country over the internet. It is about 60% cheaper. Example family of 4, 2 weeks, 67 dollars including dental treatment and free prescription for children...
I keep a certain amount of money in my current bank account (Lloydtsb). This in turn provides me with free annual travel insurance, also free AA membership. Check with your bank it may provide the same services. (Yes I know it's not really free).
I think if you pay by your Bank card you can get travel insurance but its only for 30days away.A lot of people i know have been to India on a 6 month visa and insured with Tesco, thinking they are insured for up to a year but thats the same you can only be away 30days to get insurance.
Si_L do know you cant post your India visa application form any more ? you either have to pay someone to get it for you or go yourself .Visa agency are charging £30 -£45 to get it for you + you have to pay postage at recorded delivery .