NTUC Income's new insurance plan shields commuters from surge pricing on Grab when it rains

PHOTO: Lianhe Zaobao

In a move that suggests ride-hailing and surge pricing are here to stay, NTUC Income on Wednesday announced the launch of Droplet, a first-of-its-kind insurance product that protects commuters against unpredictable surge pricing on ride-hailing platforms when it rains.

For now, Droplet covers only rides booked via Grab. It will be extended to other ride-hailing platforms by the end of the year, said NTUC Income.

Surge pricing, the practice of hiking up ride-hailing fares in times of high demand, usually kicks in when it rains.

Droplet will pay up to 60 per cent of a commuter's trip fare or cancellation fee if he or she hails a ride through a ride-hailing platform and it is raining at the point of pickup.

To enjoy Droplet cover, consumers must purchase the "rainsurance" at least a day ahead of their rides. The premium will be no more than S$9.60 for the day. Commuters can submit as many ride receipts for claim, up to a maximum of S50 in a day.

To help consumers make informed decisions about purchasing Droplet, real-time weather forecast is made available at the point of purchase on www.droplet.sg with premium pricing dynamically pegged to rain forecast.

This means that commuters who purchase Droplet closer to the days that are forecast to rain are likely to pay a higher premium compared to those who purchase the cover in advance.

NTUC Income said: "By offering dynamic premium pricing, consumers can plan for better protection against surge pricing due to rain whenever they hail a ride."

Droplet is part of the company's efforts to reimagine insurance and to address new pain points that emerge as a result of the technological disruption, said NTUC Income.

"Droplet is a blue-sky response to consumers' pain point - surge pricing due to rain - when they book a ride on ride-hailing platforms. In Singapore, where an average of 167 days of rainfall can be expected a year, consumers can now meaningfully address this pain point with insurance cover by Droplet."

At launch, Droplet covers only rides booked via Grab. It will be extended to other ride-hailing platforms by the end of the year.

This article was first published in The Business Times. Permission required for reproduction.