Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].
On-demand delivery service Postmates has announced an expanded benefits package for its fleet of couriers. The new plans match Lyft and Uber’s own $1 million liability and auto-excess insurance policies. Couriers also benefit from accident-occupational insurance that will cover up to $50,000 in medical expenses per incident.
All Postmate couriers are covered under the plan and it comes at no extra cost to them. The company is also offering new “soft benefits” that include membership to healthcare group OneMedical and discounts on bike gear.
As the on-demand and sharing economy workforces grow, it’s great to see a startup doing more to look out for its employees. The rise of app-based contracting gigs has made work much more flexible, but it has also removed some of the safeguards that come from full-time employment.
“We’re doing this as a company because we believe that for the same-day delivery space we’re operating in, the company that can make happy the largest delivery fleet is the company that will win the space,” Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann said, adding that the company treats both its couriers and users as customers.
The new insurance shouldn’t change the pricing structure for users, as Postmates had already baked the costs into its model “from day one.” The startup waited until now to roll out the insurance because it had been collecting the data necessary to negotiate a competitive rate with insurance companies.
“Postmates makes money with every delivery. We’re profitable in almost every market we’re operating in, so the insurance is a cost that has been modeled into that,” Lehmann said.
The startup now operates in 10 markets across the US (San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Seattle, Austin and Boston) with a fleet of more than 4,000 couriers. It makes roughly 20,000 deliveries a week.
Image credit: Shutterstock
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