Shadab Shaikh, a carpenter listed with EasyFix.in, was pleasantly surprised when he received a phone call from the company’s human resources team six months after he started working with the online platform. The home service aggregator’s HR team, which was monitoring his work, rewarded the 31-year-old with a personal accident insurance cover for his loyalty and good work.

In a bid to woo blue-collar workers listed with them, start-ups are offering insurance as an incentive to retain them. Interestingly, these companies are offering insurance to handyman personnel (plumbers, painters, electricians and carpenters, among others) who are not on their payroll. Easyfix is providing accident cover of either ₹50,000 or ₹1 lakh (depending on seniority and nature of work) from IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company to 2,500 blue-collar workers. Many of these firms term blue-collar workers listed with them as service providers.

“As a company, it’s the trust we gain. Further, the incentives motivate the service providers to continue to be with us, be punctual (at the client’s place) and quote the right price for the job,” said Shaifali Holani, founder, Easyfix.

Food delivery marketplace Foodpanda provides medical insurance of ₹50,000 and accident insurance of nearly ₹1 lakh to its 1,500 delivery riders even though they are not on the company’s pay-roll.

“This initiative has helped maintain the attrition of delivery riders at 5 per cent (annualised), which is the lowest in the industry,” said Saurabh Kochhar, CEO and Co-founder of Foodpanda.

With handyman personnel shifting loyalty to other marketplaces every two months or so, some firms have recorded attrition as high as 15 per cent.

On their part, insurers are offering these marketplaces better rates as they bring in volumes. A senior official from New India Assurance, the largest public sector general insurer, said that the company is in the process of rolling out customised products to suit the needs of the unorganised sector with moderate premiums.

Timesaverz, which has about 1,500 personnel listed with it, is in talks with a number of leading insurers to offer similar covers for its handymen.

“We hope to provide accident insurance cover by the end of this festival season. This would ensure dignity of labour and bring them under an organised fold,” said Timesaverz.com co-founder Debadutta Upadhyaya.

So is the case with LocalOye. Its Chief Business Officer Bharati Balakrishnan said the company will provide health insurance and personal accident insurance to its 4,400 service providers and education support to their children.

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