A recent Pew report sheds light on what ride-hailing customers really think. Michael Costonis discusses the implications of these findings for insurers.

Ride-hailing is one of the more prominent aspects of the sharing economy, and one that is examined extensively in the Pew Research Center’s recent report on the new digital economy. Among the report’s findings:

  • Frequent users of ride-hailing services are less likely to own a car—but they are also more likely to use alternative modes of transportation, such as public transit or taxi, or to walk or bike to their destination. This is notable because early on, many insurers worried that ride-hailing services would spell the end of car ownership, and in turn, personal auto insurance. (Incidentally, it seems that much of that concern has since shifted toward autonomous and self-driving vehicles.)
    Sharing Economy frequent ride hailing users less likely to own or drive a car more likely to use a range of other transit options
  • Ride-hailing users see the service provider as a software platform, not a transportation company. At the same time, the Pew report found that ride-hailing users expect the service provider to manage some elements of training and customer service. It raises questions of whether users would see insurance liability resting with their driver or with the service provider—an issue that was not part of the Pew study.
  • Users view ride-hailing services as generally positive. The top benefit of ride-hailing services was that it saves users time and stress. Users also said it was a source of good jobs with flexible hours; cost and reliability were also cited.
  • Most users are not concerned with privacy concerns stemming from ride-hailing companies using or having access to their personal data. Only 11 percent of respondents said that ride-hailing services collect too much data—in fact, 50 percent disagreed with that statement. Consumer sentiment aside, as discussed in Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2016, any business that wishes to use customer data would be wise to build digital trust into their products, services and processes from the beginning.

Overall, consumer options for ride-hailing insurance vary by state. Newcomer Metromile offers pay-as-you-go insurance targeted at drivers of ride-hailing services, while several incumbent insurers have created specialized products.

Learn more:

  • Email me to discuss how Accenture can help insurers address opportunities in the sharing economy.

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