Wolt: deploying a safety net into the platform economy

Wolt: deploying a safety net into the platform economy

Full report: Wolt: deploying a safety net into the platform economy

Wolt, a leading European technology company that facilitates food and merchandise deliveries from local shops to homes and offices, is taking strides in understanding and catering to the insurance needs of its vast network of over 180,000 courier partners.

The food delivery industry, bolstered by significant growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, is thriving, with players like DoorDash, Grubhub, and UberEats contributing to a roughly $25 billion economy in the United States alone. In Europe, Wolt stands as a prominent player, offering a wide array of delivery services, from restaurants to groceries, medicines, and more.

Garrett Olson, Wolt’s Head of Insurance and Risk, is at the forefront of creating tailored insurance solutions for the company’s diverse group of courier partners. With a background in insurance, strategy, and risk management, Olson is committed to crafting relevant safety nets for those working in the platform economy.

Olson acknowledges the unique nature of courier partners, with varying preferences, working hours, and motivations. Wolt’s courier partners range from those working sporadically to others seeking supplementary or transitional income. Flexibility is key to this diverse workforce, as they want the freedom to choose when they work, for how long, and with assurance that there will be sufficient orders available.

According to Olson, Wolt provides insurance coverage to courier partners while they are logged in and making deliveries with the platform. The focus goes beyond accidents to include the recovery period, aiming for courier partners to return to work in good health. Olson emphasizes that managing risk effectively is pivotal to sustainable value generation and reputation enhancement.

Wolt offers two primary types of insurance coverage for its courier partners. The first covers a wide range of risks, from minor injuries like dislocations and broken bones to more severe outcomes like disability and death. This inclusive approach ensures that courier partners are safeguarded in a comprehensive manner.

The second program revolves around third-party liability coverage, aligning with Wolt’s commitment to improving the cities they operate in while filling an unmet gap in the insurance market. Olson notes that it’s nearly impossible for individual courier partners, especially those using e-vehicles, bikes, or walking for deliveries, to obtain such coverage elsewhere. Wolt covers incidents that occur once courier partners leave their vehicles and start delivering orders to customers.

However, Wolt’s expansion to 25 different markets introduces challenges, particularly in managing the claims process. Courier partners expect prompt compensation, often within hours, which is a significant shift from the typical weeks or months associated with insurance claims. The company aims to streamline claims processing, ensuring that it aligns with the speed and efficiency courier partners experience when using the Wolt app.

Looking ahead, Wolt plans to enhance its insurance proposition by dynamically assessing real-time risk for courier partners. Currently, risk is primarily determined by the number of hours courier partners spend online, but Wolt intends to use local dynamic data to provide more insightful snapshots of risk exposures in granular detail. Factors such as weather, city infrastructure, delivery vehicles, and courier experience will contribute to this dynamic risk assessment, allowing for more relevant coverage and lower premiums.

Despite his global journey, Garrett Olson has found a home in Denmark and at Wolt. He brings his passion for adventure and curiosity to his work at Wolt, where he plays a crucial role in ensuring that courier partners receive the insurance coverage they need as they navigate the bustling world of food delivery.

Full report: Wolt: deploying a safety net into the platform economy

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