Leading taxi operator ComfortDelGro has introduced a paid insurance scheme against accidents and Covid-19 for passengers who book a fixed-fare cab via its phone app.
For 30 cents per ride, passengers using ComfortRide - the taxi giant's equivalent of non-metered fares offered by private-hire companies - are covered for accidents which result in death or permanent total disability, with payouts of up to $50,000. The cover is for 24 hours from the time they board a Comfort or CityCab taxi.
The plan also offers a $500 payout for anyone who takes a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction test and tests positive within 14 days from the date of the ride.
ComfortDelGro told The Straits Times two-thirds of all its taxi rides are via ComfortRide now, meaning metered fares - once the mainstay of taxi operators - make up the minority.
The dual-pronged insurance cover is an industry first here. Private-hire operators such as Grab, Gojek and Ryde have been offering their passengers accident insurance for some time now, but none has paired it with Covid-19 coverage.
While accident insurance offered by the private-hire operators is free of charge, none offers cover which extends hours beyond the duration of a commute. These firms also charge a "platform fee" starting from 30 cents, while ComfortRide does not.
ComfortDelGro's policy is underwritten by HL Assurance, and can be activated via the ComfortDelGro Taxi app. ComfortDelGro said yesterday it will offer the insurance free of charge "for a limited time period".