Uber expands its accident insurance across Europe

Uber has been slowly rolling out free insurance products to its drivers and delivery persons in Europe. The company is announcing that its contractors will get better coverage in 21 European countries.

Starting on June 1st, 150,000 people working with Uber services will be covered by what Uber calls “Partner Protection”. The company is working with French insurance company Axa on the insurance product. Uber is paying for the insurance.

When you’re driving or delivering food, Uber is going to cover your hospital bills. The company can potentially also provide disability indemnities and survivor benefits.

Last July, the company already announced this kind of coverage for French drivers and riders. Uber first launched this insurance product to comply with French regulation. Uber Eats couriers are also getting basic accident and sickness insurance coverage in the U.K. Contractors working in other European countries will now get similar coverage.

More interestingly, for the first time, Uber is also going ot provide some sort of insurance when you’re not working. The insurance product is going to cover severe sickness and injury. You’ll also get maternity and paternity payments to compensate your revenue loss after having a baby.

But you won’t be eligible to this off-trip insurance if you only deliver food on Uber Eats every now and then for instance. Drivers who completed 150 trips over the past eight weeks and delivery persons who delivered 30 orders over the past eight weeks are eligible.

And yet, don’t call them employees. Uber still doesn’t want to hire its drivers and riders directly. It’s much easier to work with contractors — Uber doesn’t have to pay the minimum wage or expensive benefits. And the company can also terminate its relationships with its ‘partners’ without any consequence.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is currently having lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron and around 50 tech CEOs in Paris. Khosrowshahi will also talk privately with Macron as part of the Tech for Good Summit organized by Macron.