Grab announces insurance plan for carpooling service GrabHitch

Grab logo on cars.
Grab logo on cars. PHOTO: GRAB

SINGAPORE - Ride-hailing firm Grab announced on Monday (June 12) that it is extending group personal accident insurance to users of its carpooling service GrabHitch.

It covers not only accidental death and permanent disablement but also medical expenses incurred in the event of an accident during GrabHitch rides.

The total personal accident benefits for riders is up to US$15,000 ($20,757) for accidental death and permanent disablement, or up to an aggregate limit of US$50,000 ($69,187) per accident in Singapore.

Grab said that the policy is aimed at complementing the personal motor insurance purchased individually by GrabHitch drivers.

Unlike private-hire cars, cars used for carpooling services are not required to have commercial insurance.

Last month, in a letter to The Straits Times, General Insurance Association of Singapore chief executive Derek Teo said that insurance policies for private cars have a "limitation to use" condition, restricting usage of the vehicle to social, domestic and pleasure purposes. This condition is breached if the vehicle is used for hire and reward, even under the Road Traffic (Car Pools) Exemption Order, he added.

"Therefore, the insurer will not be liable for property damage or injury, unless the policyholder had declared to his insurer at the inception of the policy that he intends to use the vehicle for hire and reward," said Mr Teo.

Grab Singapore head Lim Kell Jay said that the move is aimed at providing GrabHitch riders with "safe and worry-free travel".

"Personal car owners who are part of the GrabHitch movement have varying levels of personal motor insurance policies. By providing free group personal accident insurance to riders, we eliminate any uncertainties that they might have about insurance coverage on social carpool rides," said Grab Singapore head Lim Kell Jay.

GrabHitch is one of several carpooling services to emerge after laws were passed in 2015 to allow drivers to be paid for offering rides within Singapore, though the payment should not exceed expenses incurred.

Last year, a rival carpooling service, Ryde, partnered with insurer Aviva to offer personal accident coverage of up to $20,000 per car for both drivers and passengers.