Startups ramp up incentives to change negative perception of insurance following COVID-19 outbreak
Insurers have faced a considerable amount of negative press since the coronavirus was first declared a pandemic, but insurtechs are taking measures to change this perception by helping vulnerable customers.
Clearly, this is a tough time for insurers, who could potentially be liable for vast sums of money, while insurtechs have far less capital to fall back on. However, Digital Risks and Zego have created two positive PR stories in recent days by offering consumers something in these difficult times. Both operate in the freelance space, where customers have been hit the hardest due to them traditionally having very little insurance and less workers’ rights, and are receiving very little from the UK government to date.
First, Digital Risks partnered with freelance career platform UnderPinned to offer freelancers 24/7 tax and legal and mental health helplines for free until September 2020. Zego, an on-demand freelance insurer, offers two weeks’ worth of free cover to customers suspected to have coronavirus while they self-isolate and recover.
Similarly, Equipsme, a startup health insurer, offers small businesses (with up to 20 employees) free access to its app. This will give them access to 24/7 remote GP appointments, a nurse helpline, stress support, and physiotherapy advice. This support will last until August 2020. While these measures may not mitigate all losses, they show that insurers are attempting to keep consumers onside. The past few weeks have seen an influx in stories of insurers changing contract terms, pulling out of markets, or not covering certain aspects of claims.
While this is understandable due to the sheer costs involved for large insurers, insurtechs have shown there are measures they can implement to help out groups of customers. In this way, customers that are particularly vulnerable, such as freelancers, are likely to remember which companies offered them help during the pandemic, and the likes of Zego, Digital Risks, and Equipsme should reap the benefits of that in the future.