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Health Insurance for Snake Bites Research Team | Posted On Saturday, August 03,2019, 04:56 PM

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Health Insurance for Snake Bites



Snake bites kill more than 50,000 people in India each year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 90% of snake bites in India are from the Indian cobra, Common Krait, saw-scaled viper and Russell’s viper. These are the 4 major varieties of venomous snakes in India. In 2016 and 2017, snake bite cases were 1,78,433 and 1,42,366 respectively in the country, as per India’s recent National Health Profile (NHF). 

Reasons for Increasing Snake Bite Deaths in India           

  • Inadequate quantum of antidotes
  • Poor healthcare facilities in rural India
  • Delay in admitting victims to healthcare centers
  • Scarcity of anti-venom
  • Problems with cold storage and transportation impact the quality of anti-venom
  • Anti-venom is expensive
  • Lack of expert medical practitioners to treat snake bite cases, especially in rural areas.

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Health Insurance for Snake Bites

Snake Bite Treatment and First Aid in India

Bring victims to the nearest healthcare center within six hours of the snake bite. While waiting for medical treatment, make sure to give first aid to the victim. Remove watches and jewelry as these could cut into the skin; if swelling occurs.

The snake bite area has to be kept below the heart level. The wound must be covered with a clean and loose bandage. If the foot was bitten by the snake, remove shoes of the victim. Keep the victim calm and in good spirits. Be stress-free around him/her.

The bite of a specific category of snake can be treated with monospecific anti-venom, whereas polyspecific anti-venom is used to treat different snake bites. Victims must be hospitalized for at least 24 hours; so that doctors can easily monitor blood pressure. Low blood pressure is treated with intravenous fluids. Blood transfusions may be required to treat the patient who has lost a lot of blood.

Snake Bite Anti-Venom

Anti-venom is the best treatment for snake bite. Albert Calmette, a physician from France, developed the first anti-venom to treat the bite of the Indian cobra. This anti-venom is created out of antibodies and is injected into the victim; intravenously. Anti-venom is prepared using donor animals like horses or sheep. Anti-venoms are also referred to as antivenin, antivenom immunoglobulin and venom antiserum

Snake Bite Insurance

The Personal accidental insurance plan offered by Tata AIG Insurance Company covers snake bites in addition to falls and other accidents. This policy is offered to individuals within the age group of 5-70 years. Children must be between 5-19 years in case of family package insurance covers. Under this plan, the sum assured is fixed depending on the age, occupation and annual income, the tenure of insurance and so on.

Snakebites Brought Under the Regime of RuPay Insurance Cover

The new insurance scheme offered to RuPay Debit cardholders; covers death or permanent total disability from snake bites. It used to cover just rail, air and water accidents. National Payments Corporation of India or NPCI issues the RuPay card. Snake bites are common in rural areas. So, there was a lot of pressure to include snake bite cases under the plan.

No premium is charged to RuPay cardholders to offer them this cover. To claim the cover, the eligible candidates must have transacted; at least 45 days before the accident or snake bite. The cover is for a year as accident insurance must be renewed each year.

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