As the UK gets to grips with a lockdown to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, delivery services are more important than ever, and insurtech startup Zego is playing a small but vital role.
The company provides work insurance for drivers and riders, insuring many of those in the UK’s vast food delivery and ride-hailing industry, whether they use a bike or car. And many of those working in the industry employed as contractors, Zego has joined in providing support for those who have contracted the coronavirus.
“We currently insure a large portion of the UK’s delivery and ride-hailing workforce, including Uber and Deliveroo, and have recently announced 14 days free cover to customers with suspected Covid-19,” says Sten Saar, CEO and co-founder at Zego, who is the former operations director at Deliveroo.
“This is to help alleviate any financial strains felt by our customers who are unable to earn money for an extended period.”
Zego and the coronavirus: Working from home but business as usual
As a key insurtech in the UK’s startup space, Zego already had a strongly digital-first operational setup, which has made the essential transition to working from home relatively straightforward, enabling the company to focus on supporting customers.
“The setup of our tech means the Zego team is well equipped to work remotely,” says Saar.
“Most of our servers and systems are cloud-based so they can be accessed away from the office. All of the documents our customers need are also provided electronically, so we are continuing to operate business as usual.”
While the company has naturally put all international travel on hold, it has kept up recruitment, switching to video conferencing software to conduct interviews.
“We have been communicating as a team and working with external parties, and candidates for new roles, via video conference, to ensure reduced risk for all,” he says.
However, Zego has recognised the mental health issues that self-isolation during the coronavirus can prompt.
“We’re strong advocates of employee health and wellbeing, and continue to offer professional therapy to the entire team through an external partner, via Skype.”
In the long-term however, the outbreak is likely to prompt some change at the company, in the form of a greater investment in remote technology.
“We are upping the scale of our current tech that already helps us work remotely across the UK, Ireland, Spain, and France.”