Logistics

Ola, Uber’s battleground now shifts to insuring its customers

Sangeetha Chengappa | Updated on September 25, 2019 Published on September 25, 2019

Taxing time An e-commerce operator is deemed to be the supplier in a taxi- hailing service and shall be liable to pay tax

Ride sharing apps, Ola and Uber have found a new battleground rolling out insurance products for its customers ranging from health insurance to in-trip products.

Ola will be rolling out a health insurance solution in partnership with Religare Health Insurance, through its financial services arm, OlaMoney.

The OlaMoney-Religare Hospicash enables policyholders to claim Rs 5,000 per day of hospitalization with a total sum insured of Rs 5 lakh per year, allowing them access to quality and timely healthcare. Available to all registered Ola users, the policy can be purchased directly through the Ola app and coverage includes hospitalisation for accidents, treatments and critical illnesses.

The policy, which offers a premium as low as Rs 3 per day, is available as individual and family plans and can be purchased monthly or for a period of one year, renewable thereafter. The product offers comprehensive health protection and also serves as a valuable addition to an existing health cover. Unlike traditional health insurance policies which are accepted only at preferred network hospitals, the OlaMoney Religare health cover can be used to reimburse expenses incurred at any hospital across India for all aged between 91 days to 65 years.

Last April, Ola in partnership with Acko General Insurance had launched an in-trip insurance programme for its users across all categories pan India including cabs, autos, kaali-peeli, and e-rickshaw, starting at a premium of Rs 1 per ride for an insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh for all intra-city travel, Rs 10 for Ola Rentals and Rs 15 for Ola Outstation. Benefits include accidental death, permanent total disability/ permanent partial disability, accidental medical expense, OPD treatment, hospital daily allowance, ambulance transportation cover and evacuation, repatriation of mortal remains, missed domestic flights, loss of baggage , loss of laptop, emergency hotel requirements, home insurance cover, fire and allied perils.

Not to be outdone, arch rival Uber, has gone one step ahead and launched rider insurance at no extra cost today, in partnership with Bharti AXA and TATA AIG, which will cover all riders in cars, autos and motos up to a maximum of Rs 500,000 in case of an accident on a trip. The insurance provides cover for physical injury as a result of any accident that might occur while on trip with Uber, from the point the rider enters the vehicle until the end of the trip. Coverage benefits include: Accidental death – Rs 5,00,000, Accidental disability (Permanent/Partial) – up to Rs 5,00,000, Accidental hospitalization – upto Rs 2,00,000 including OPD benefit maximum upto Rs 50,000.

“Ola’s Hospicash insurance is definitely a move to monetise Ola’s vast user base paving its path to becoming profitable, before it goes in for an IPO. It is also a great value addition for Ola’s users, who have much to gain. Similarly Uber’s rider insurance at no extra cost to the rider is a clear case of seeking goodwill and loyalty from its customer base” said an analyst tracking the cab hailing space.

Ola and Uber together are logging 2 million rides per day. In their move to become profitable, both companies have drastically reduced driver incentives which have stabilised at 10-15 per cent today, down from 30-40 per cent a few years ago, resulting in much slower onboarding of driver partners. As a consequence, while demand for cabs continues to grow, supply from Ola and Uber has not kept pace with the demand, said the same analyst.

To compound matters for Ola and Uber, emerging mobility solutions such as bike rentals like Bounce, Vogo; micro-mobility solutions for shorter rides like Yulu, CarPooling etc have been gaining ground over the last 12-18 months. As Ola and Uber continue to battle it out for supremacy in the India market, for now Ola is clearly in the lead with an established presence in 200 plus cities and towns with a fleet of 2 million vehicles and 2 million driver partners. Uber which is present in 40 plus cities and has 4.5 lakh driver partners, has to play catchup. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Published on September 25, 2019
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