Uber India Rolls Out Insurance Program For Driver-Partners
A day after Uber selected its new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who was earlier leading the online travel company Expedia, the US-based cab aggregator also announced a slew of initiatives for the India market.
As part of its India business growth plan, Uber said, it will roll out an insurance programme for over 4.5 lakh of its driver-partners in India in partnership with ICICI Lombard General Insurance. The program, which will go live from September 1, will be extended for free to driver-partners aged 18-65 years. Uber currently has similar offerings in Indonesia and Myanmar.
Uber, which is having an intense battle with Ola in India in terms of market leadership, counts India among its top markets, where it has recently announced that it had completed 500 million trips in the country since it began operations here four years ago, and was handling about 9.4 million trips a week. The company claims to have witnessed a 115 per cent increase in the number of completed trips on its platform in July this year over the year-ago period in India.
The insurance offered will cover accidental death and disablement, hospitalization and outpatient medical treatment in case of an accident while the driver-partner is using the Uber app. The coverage includes Rs 5 lakh in the event of death, up to Rs 5 lakh for permanent disability, up to Rs 2 lakh in the event of hospitalisation, with a sub-limit of up to Rs 50,000 for outpatient treatment, it said in a statement.
Apart from that, Uber has also rolled out features like pause requests and in-app chat to enhance experience for driver-partners. Uber has also partnered with AISECT to pilot a programme to create Whatsapp-enabled modules to teach drivers basic english conversational skills to help them improve their ratings on the platform.
“These innovations and partnerships are a reflection of our commitment to listen to our driver-partners and act on it to ensure that Uber is not just the most attractive opportunity but also the most preferred choice,” Uber India Head of Central Operations Pradeep Parameswaran. The partnership with ICICI Lombard will provide a safety net for driver-partners, who are a very important part of Uber’s growth journey, he added.
While Uber’s image became murkier in recent months when the company was held for several scandals, including sexual harassment accusations in the workplace, ill-mannered drivers, and an IP dispute with a self-driving car rival, the new CEO Khosrowshahi’s entry is likely to be crucial to returning stability and reliability.
Globally , Uber posted a loss of $708 million on adjusted net revenue of $1.5 billion for the first three months of this calendar year. In the second quarter, the company narrowed its loss to $645 million on adjusted net revenue of $1.75 billion. Uber does not include stock-based compensation in its losses. Uber’s investors are looking at profitability and want to address the cost challenges at the earliest and consider India has been a high-priority market and as far as innovation and products are concerned. Experts believe the company will march ahead with the right strategy and leadership.
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