Pedestrians are now better placed to claim for damages should they get into an accident involving riders from food delivery services in Singapore.
Deliveroo and Grab have already taken up third-party liability insurance for their riders, while a third company, Foodpanda, is looking into purchasing the insurance.
Early this week, Active Mobility Advisory Panel chairman Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said his panel is considering recommending that such insurance be made mandatory for food delivery firms.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Dr Faishal said: "We are considering third-party liability insurance, to give more peace of mind to pedestrians and riders if an accident occurs." He said more details on the potential recommendation would be announced later.
Dr Faishal had said last month that his panel was concerned about reports of reckless food delivery riders who rush to make deliveries, and that it was actively looking into stronger measures to ensure that the riders are covered by third-party liability insurance.
Mr Steven Lim, a member of the panel and president of the Safe Cycling Task Force, said on Wednesday that while no final decision has been made on the recommendations, food delivery companies are already encouraged to take up such insurance.
He said: "The food delivery riders are the ones who actually spend a lot of time on the streets, they clock higher mileage, so the chances of them getting into an accident are actually higher than other users."
Both Grab and Deliveroo told The Straits Times that they had already purchased third-party liability insurance for their riders.
Deliveroo said all 6,000 of its riders have been covered by insurance for free since May last year.
"Accident insurance is applicable to riders on all vehicle types and their substitutes, while all cyclists and e-scooter riders also have access to third-party liability insurance," it said.
Riders are covered by insurance at a value of up to US$1.5 million (S$2.03 million) in the event that they cause injury to another person while making a delivery. The insurance would also protect the rider in cases of property damage and cover any legal costs incurred.
Grab, which runs GrabFood, said its riders have been covered by third-party insurance since June 14. It said the coverage aims to provide peace of mind to both pedestrians and delivery riders.
It did not disclose the total number of riders insured or the monetary value of the coverage.
Foodpanda's public relations team did not respond to ST's requests for comment, but ST understands that the company is also looking into buying third-party liability insurance for its riders.
Ms Lee Bee Wah, MP for Nee Soon GRC, previously suggested that third-party liability insurance be made mandatory for personal mobility device users. She told ST that the developments are a good step forward.
"Having mandatory insurance for (riders) could help many pedestrians feel they have at least some recourse," she said. "More importantly, food delivery companies should hold their riders accountable for any accidents, using their tracking technology if needed."