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Business News of Sunday, 9 June 2019

Source: abcnewsgh.com

Uber Ghana takes riders’ safety notch higher with GHC50, 000 insurance cover

Uber Ghana has announced an insurance package worth GHC50, 000 to cover its driver-partners and riders in a bid to ensure maximum safety of its users, ABC News Ghana can report.

The policy which is being rolled out by the tech company is in collaboration with leading safety and security focused company, Old Mutual.

Addressing the gathering at a round-table media interaction session to announce and re-enforce Uber’s safety regulations and guidelines, Uber Ghana’s General Manager explained that the policy will only cover drivers or riders who order a trip and are on their way to the rider’s destination or pick up point.

“In the unfortunate occurrence of an accident or some other injury Old Mutual’s coverage will cover for the rider, Uber partner and sometimes there’s a guest driver. The details of the policy are available online but it ranges from everything – reimbursement in terms of time if you are not able to go to work and you have been certified by a medical professional to be on admission, then to cover loss of any part of your body among others” Jessica Poku detailed.

Providing more details about the package at the event, Emma Ocansey, Head of Corporate Business at Old Mutual, indicated that the GHC50, 000 maximum amount covers each occupant of the car – meaning – if there are maximum of 4 persons in the car who suffer death or permanent disability a sum of GHC200, 000 will be paid to the beneficiaries.

The policy is structured in a way that only persons or beneficiaries of persons with permanent disability or death benefit from the upfront payment of GHC50, 000.

In a case of temporal disability, the GHC50, 000 is spread over a 12 months period, while cost of medication is catered up to 10% of the GHC50, 000.

“Its for individuals. If we are looking at the maximum number of people a car can take that as 4, then the maximum amount is GHC200, 000, when there is death or permanent disability” Old Mutual’s Corporate Business head asserted.

She added, “…because we are not medical experts, we do have medical doctors who will bring us a report to say that this person is permanently disabled then the GHC50, 000 will be paid to you, so it is on an individual basis, each life on board at that particular time.”



Uber security and safety features

Lola Kassim, in-charge of overseeing Uber’s operations in West Africa stressed the tech company’s commitment to keeping its users and driver-partners safe before, during and after trips using technology.

Reassuring the public, she outlined that Uber has strict procedures including ensuring all vehicle documentation are up to scratch, every car has been certified to be road worthy, a comprehensive insurance and drivers are taken through health screening to ensure optimum safety standards.

She noted features such as sharing trip details, aborting and reporting trips where drivers arrive in wrong cars or images do not correspond to that of the app and rating and giving feedback are essential and must be utilised by riders to gain the best experiences.

“…any hour of the day if you write through the app to say that you have been having any issue on a trip, there’s someone who will respond to you and if it is safety related issue, these people will respond within minutes. and if it happens to be a very serious incident where police or law enforcement agencies are involved we have specialised teams, available 24/7, to liaise with the police,” Lola Kassim told the gathering of the press where ABC News Ghana was present.

The Uber West Africa Manager re-echoed, “We have also instituted driving hour limits to ensure that drivers aren’t driving for so long that they get drowsy. So after every 12 hours of driving you need to take a 6 hour break. For us safety never really stops. this is something we are going to continue innovating on.”


Response to Kidnapping incidents

Addressing concerns raised on social media platforms about alleged misconduct of some Uber driver-partners, Francesca Uriri, Head of Communications, Uber West Africa, urged riders to provide feedback on their trips to improve their services.

Francesca Uriri insisted that several Uber drivers and riders have been taken off the app and emphasised that the company has zero-tolerance for misconducts.

Clarifying media reports which sought to link an Uber driver in Kumasi to a recent kidnapping incident, the Head of Communications disclosed that “the incident in Kumasi is very unfortunate. Anything of that nature is unfortunate. However, the police have confirmed that the Uber driver in question is not a suspect.”

Lola Kassim remarked, “…any incidence that may occur is something we treat seriously, it’s something that will be very unfortunate. What we want people to be aware of is that for us safety is a huge priority. No form of transportation is completely safe but we believe the features we have, the support system we have are bringing kind of best-in-class safety to the ride-sharing sphere.

The round-table discussion with the media on its security and safety standards is one of a series of engagements to get its stakeholders constantly well-informed about its operations.

Uber will mark its third year of operations in Accra, Ghana on June 9 2019, and will announce a series of activities and initiatives for its community of driver-partners and riders in Accra and Kumasi.