Food delivery service Deliveroo has launched a free insurance package for its delivery agents, or riders, in Ireland costing the company almost £10 million (€11.3 million) this year.
The accident insurance package applies for all on-demand, self-employed riders and covers personal injuries for all riders, including for up to €7,500 of medical expenses as well as for up to 75 per cent of average gross income while incapacitated.
The new cover, from Qover, means Deliveroo riders will be able to claim for the costs of their absence if they are unable to work as a result of an injury while working.
Cyclists with the company will also have access to public liability insurance which covers them up to €5 million and covers scooter riders while they are off their vehicle and those doing deliveries on foot.
The insurance cover also has measures to pay for hospital stays – €50 per overnight stay up to two months – and up to €2,000 for dental treatment. The loss of sight, hearing speech and limbs is also part of the cover.
"We would like to go further in offering security to riders, but we are currently constrained by the law," said Deliveroo Ireland regional manager Liam Cox.
“Giving riders access to these products is just one way that we are working to increase riders’ security, but we will be arguing for the law to be updated so on demand companies can offer both flexibility and security.
“This new insurance gives riders security in the event of an injury while maintaining the flexible work they value,” he added.
Deliveroo's insurance packages are being introduced in Ireland, the UK, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Singapore and Hong Kong. The company already provides cover in France and insurance in Germany is expected to follow. Under this and previous schemes, about 35,000 riders are covered by the company.
Both accident insurance and third-party liability cover come into force in Ireland this month.
Irish market Deliveroo is facing increased competition in the Irish market with the expected arrival of Uber Eats later this year. The move could see the first home delivery of McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme doughnuts to Irish customers.
Deliveroo entered the Irish market in 2015 and has since linked up with 430 restaurants, including Eddie Rocket's and Nando's, to offer a delivery service across Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway, with a fleet of 900 bike riders.
Last year, Deliveroo said that it added €15 million to the sale of its restaurant clients and their suppliers, and that it received about 400 job applications a week. Companies such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats typically take a cut of about 30 per cent of the amount spent by the customer on food.