Peer-to-peer rideshare provider Uber and InsureTech disruptor INSHUR have teamed up to offer fully digital private hire policies direct to Uber driver-partners. This is touted as the first of its kind in the UK. The deal is a clear shot across the bows of traditional private hire vehicle insurance brokers and insurers.
INSHUR provides paperless private hire vehicle insurance for independent drivers. It’s Underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE and backed by Munich RE. (Including those who drive for Uber, Lyft, Green Taxi driver and New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission.)
Consumer and market data experts, Statista, estimate that the UK ride share market will be worth £2.3 billion by 2021. (A rise of 25% annually). To exploit this market expansion and grapple with competitors such as Lyft, Gett, Addison Lee, Wheely, MyTaxi and others, Uber need drivers.
Uber and INSHUR’s joint move strongly indicates that Uber perceive obtaining private hire vehicle insurance. This is a potential barrier to recruiting new driver-partners and retaining those who already drive for the US ride share giant.
David Daiches, INSHUR co-founder elaborated on the deal. “The relationship with Uber further extends our focus on technology, data and real-time usage based risk assessment. The aim will be to reward the safe and highest rated professional drivers, this is a great thing for everyone.”
The INSHUR app allows drivers to log-on using their Uber ID. Then, use their phone to scan their driving licences and pay instantly for cover.
Fred Jones, Uber London Limited director underscored the safety message. “Safety is at the heart of everything we do and motor insurance is at the heart of private hire safety. We have introduced many new safety features in the app and improved our processes over the past 18 months. However, we won’t stop there because when it comes to safety on our platform, our work is never done.”
Founded in 2009, Uber is considered by many to have revolutionised personal taxi transport but are not without controversy. Despite sexual harassment lawsuits, allegations of spying, insinuations of intellectual property theft and driver claims of underpayment, Uber continues to dominate the ride share market in the US and Europe.
In what appears to be a snub at traditional private hire vehicle insurance brokers and insurers, INSHUR have touted that drivers can obtain cover 24/7. Also, they will not have to wait for policy details to arrive. According to a survey jointly conducted by the two tech companies, 11% of drivers had to wait up to two weeks to obtain policy documents for their cover. This was when it was delivered by a traditional insurance supplier.
Underscoring their expansion plans, Daiches expounded on INSHUR’s future. “We have built a data-driven technology platform, secured insurance capacity with a trusted global insurer and are scaling our business in New York and the UK.”