With pay-as-you-go premiums and streamlined benefits, are Grab’s new insurance products a good fit for you?
Grab, Singapore’s most successful
monopoly ride-hailing platform (and best way to order McDonalds during peak periods) has recently added a $0.30 platform fee. The company says that part of the fee will be used to support drivers, with the rest going into developing new product features.
These new product features might follow in the vein of two insurance products that were launched earlier this year: Travel Cover (13 Jan) and Ride Cover (1 March), offering pay-as-you-go premium structures and streamlined (some may say pared down) benefits.
What is Grab Travel Cover and Grab Ride Cover?
Travel Cover and Ride Cover are recently launched insurance products by Grab that offer insurance coverage when you travel overseas or take a Grab ride, respectively.
Their main appeal seems to be affordability and convenience. However, since insurance should be about getting the cover you need (and not just how easily you can get it), let’s examine how these two products hold up under scrutiny.
Grab Ride Cover: Accident insurance for $0.30 per trip
Grab has also rolled out a new insurance scheme for local passengers.
Called Grab Ride Cover, you can receive up to $100,000 in case of death or permanent disability arising from an accident occurring during a Grab ride. However, less serious injuries or hospitalisation fees aren’t covered.
Additionally, you will also receive a $5 Grab voucher should your pickup be delayed more than 10 minutes from the estimated arrival time.
To sign up, simply opt in using your Grab app; thereafter, you will be charged an extra $0.30 for every Grab ride you take. Your family members sharing the vehicle with you, or taking a ride that you’ve booked, will also be covered for that trip.
However, Grab Ride Cover is not available for GrabShare, GrabHitch and GrabCoach. Such trips will not not incur the $0.30 premium.
How does it compare?
At $0.30 per trip, assuming you take one Grab trip every business day, you’ll be paying about $72 a year for up to $100,000 in coverage.
That’s pretty comparable with similar personal accident plans available on the market. But, if you’re a power rider taking several trips per day, that $0.30 per trip can quickly add up.
This becomes even more unpalatable when you consider that Grab Ride Share’s maximum payout is $100,000 - which is likely insufficient to replace lost potential income.
Should you go for Grab Ride Cover?
Well, the decision-making point is in the last seven words of the previous paragraph.
The most devastating effect of accidental death or total and permanent disability is the loss of a breadwinning member of the family, which has serious long-term repercussions.
Insurance planning should always take the above into account, and coverage should ideally be sufficient to replace any lost potential income to allow surviving family members to maintain their standard of living.
Grab Ride Cover only pays out a maximum of $100,000 in an accident serious enough to cause death or permanent disability. Furthermore, the cover only takes effect when you are in a Grab ride.
Given the above, for all practical purposes, Grab Ride Cover should best be used by regular Grab users who already have sufficient personal accident cover. Grab’s payout should be thought of as an added boost in the event that a serious or fatal accident should occur while you’re on a Grab ride.
Grab Travel Cover: Travel insurance from $2.50 per day
Aimed at overseas travellers, Grab Travel Cover offers up to $200,000 for accidents, up to $150,000 for overseas medical expenses, unlimited amounts for medical evacuation and repatriation, as well as allowances for overseas hospital and compassionate visits.
You will also receive compensation for travel delays and loss or damage to luggage and personal property, journey cancellation or curtailment, alongside useful extras like credit card indemnity and home cover against break ins while you’re away. The plan also offers free extension to cover terrorism.
How does it compare?
All in all, Grab Travel Cover is a pretty comprehensive travel insurance plan, with high cover that should suit the needs of most travellers.
But how does it compare against its two main rivals – standalone travel insurance plans that you can buy independently, and complimentary travel insurance that comes with selected credit cards?
For the most part, Grab Travel Cover stands up to various complimentary travel insurance offered by credit cards. In fact, in a few cases, Grab even offers broader coverage, which you might find more useful.
This means that if your credit card’s complimentary cover is sufficient for your needs, then that should be your first choice – because free.
But what if you’re holding one of those few credit cards with a less comprehensive plan? Should you automatically go for Grab Travel Cover?
Well, not so fast. We compared Grab Travel Cover with standalone travel insurance plans, and found comparable policies at lower prices – way lower in fact.
In case you’re interested, we set up an imaginary trip to Taiwan for 30 days for one traveller. Grab gave us a quote of $97.50 ($3.25/day).
Meanwhile, we found at least different six insurers offering plans with similar coverage at prices ranging from $45 to $87.
Should you go for Grab Travel Cover?
The answer: It depends.
If you do not have a travel credit card and somehow didn’t have time to go comparison shopping for a standalone travel plan, you could consider Grab Travel Cover as a quick alternative.
Despite the higher prices, it is a relatively solid plan and pretty affordable for short holidays. That is, when we can actually start doing it.
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