Twelve ride-hailing companies will begin offering health insurance to drivers in the first major win for driver welfare years after drivers started pushing for better working conditions and benefits. 

Rida, Bosscab, SimpliRide, and indigenous Nigerian mobility providers like Nairaxi have agreed to offer drivers health insurance, according to one person familiar with the discussions.

“We are still finalising the technical details,” the same person said, asking not to be named as he was not authorised to speak on the matter. “The initial offering covers drivers only, but family coverage is a future consideration.”

Benefits like health insurance are a touchy subject in the ride-hailing industry because they’re tied to whether drivers should be classified as employees or independent contractors. Major ride-hailing companies argue that since drivers are independent contractors, they should cater to their health insurance.

Uber, Bolt, InDrive and LagRide, four leading ride-hailing companies are not part of the agreement. 

Bolt offers drivers health insurance as an incentive to drivers contingent on them meeting certain targets. LagRide pulled its health insurance benefits shortly before the death of a driver Adedayo Padmore in January 2024. The death of Padmore increased the calls for health insurance for drivers. A spokesperson for Indrive said the company has not entered any agreement to provide drivers health insurance.

The health insurance plan will cover routine medical checks, surgery, cancer treatments, ante-natal, and drugs.

“The HMO will be operational in the next 90 days after we create awareness in our state councils. We will start collecting check-off dues on the platforms that sign onto the agreement,” said Damola Adeniran, president of the App-Based Transporters of Nigeria (AUATON). 

The union is also working on membership which will help identify members. The union will continue to press for major ride-hailing companies to lower their commission, and pension benefits and for a seat at the decision-making table. 

Joseph Olaoluwa Senior Reporter, TechCabal

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