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Coronavirus crisis: E-comm firms start buying COVID-19 insurance cover for delivery staff

BusinessToday.In     July 20, 2020

Online retailers and food-tech firms have started offering insurance covers and income protection plans for their staff, delivery partners, and supply chain associates as the coronavirus cases escalate in the country.

Flipkart, Amazon Zomato, Swiggy, and BigBasket are among the firms that have purchased insurance covers ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh for the delivery person, including freelance staff.

Sanjay Datta, chief of claims, underwriting and reinsurance at ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd said the premium for all-inclusive health insurance products that cover other health risks was between Rs 3,000-4,000 depending on the tenure (3.5 months to 6.5 months or 9.5 months). Datta added that the size of the employees' medical insurance business (taken by companies) has been Rs 7,000-8,000 crore, which would further grow at 30-40 per cent.

According to Mint, Flipkart has bought fresh insurance policies for all its 1.2 lakh supply chain employees and delivery partners.

Flipkart senior vice-president Amitesh Jha told the daily that the company has covered all its employees under a medical and accident cover of up to Rs 3 lakh, and delivery partners up to Rs 5 lakh. Additionally, Flipkart has offered a term-life cover of Rs 3 lakh for contract employees and a minimum term cover of Rs 25 lakh for full-time employees.

Jha claimed that Flipkart has also provided a coronavirus lump sum of up to Rs 50,000 for those staff members who test COVID positive. "Our employees are also covered under Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)," Jha added.

Flipkart's rival Amazon India has also said all its workforce was covered for medical insurance under the ESIC. The company has also launched a $25-million Amazon Relief Fund, which can be utilised by individuals who are part of Amazon's Delivery Service Partner Programme.

Following the suit, online food aggregators Zomato and Swiggy are also offering COVID insurance to all their delivery workforce and executives.

Zomato's on-roll employees are covered for COVID-19 under the plan that is designed in partnership with ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. The company claimed to provide accidental and medical insurance to its delivery partners through its Delivery Partner Insurance Plan in partnership with Acko General Insurance Ltd.

Swiggy explained that it was providing options to employees to personalise their medical policy as per their health profile. Also, Swiggy's active delivery partners and their family members are covered under an income protection plan, which provides them assured income for up to 14 days if they are hospitalised with the disease.

Online grocery supermarket BigBasket too has been offering coronavirus insurance policies for all its frontline workforce and other staff.  Tanuja Tewari, vice president human resources, Bigbasket said the company will decide on extending insurance after assessing how the situation evolves over a year.

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