Grab offers insurance to its passengers and drivers

Both passengers and drivers covered under plan

In what looks like a savvy move and a way to make Grab far more competitive with rival Uber, the ride-hailing platform is now offering free group Personal Accident Insurance for both GrabCar and GrabBike passengers and drivers.

This is the first time such a scheme has been introduced for ride-hailing services and is perhaps the largest in terms of coverage in Southeast Asia. 

One of the biggest criticisms levelled at services such as Uber and Grab is that there was no insurance coverage, with users of the service left at a disadvantage in the case of accidents.

Road traffic injuries, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), kill 316,000 people annually in Southeast Asia and though it comprises eight per cent of the world population, Southeast Asia accounts for a quarter of all road traffic deaths.

The group PAI will cover both drivers and passengers, a far better deal than commercial insurance that sometimes only covers third-party claims. Neither passengers nor drivers will pay any deductibles for the service

GrabTaxi is not covered by the scheme as it is instead subject to taxi fleet company policies. The question is now whether Uber will follow suit; if it does not offer an equivalent solution, it is likely that we can expect an exodus of Uber drivers to Grab.

Formerly a taxi-hailing service, Grab has no expanded into full ride-hailing. The service is currently operating in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, with the company estimating its app has been downloaded on over 12 million mobile devices and has over 220,000 vehicles registered with the service across the region.