The on-demand economy has not gone unnoticed by China Life and like other established insurers, it is keen to associate itself with winners in this space. In this case, through a partnership with Didi Chuxing, the dominant ride-sharing app in China, and Uber’s foil in the region.
Specifically, China Life has invested $600 million into Didi and is forging a further partnership. Although Didi already provided personal liability insurance through their investment from Ping An Ventures, industry commentators have added that China Life will step in as the underwriter in tier 3 Chinese cities and remote areas where Ping An’s presence is lower.
China Life and Didi “plan to work on insurance and other financial programs that are mutually beneficial”.
Didi’s insurance partners, including China Life, will make sure insurance coverage is available under two scenarios:
1) During the trip:
Covers incidents that occur between accepting a trip and reaching the rider’s destination. China Life’s commercial insurance policy covers driver’s liability to riders and takes precedence over any personal auto coverage. This also covers other motorist who cause the accident, but don’t have adequate insurance. This policy covers bodily injury of anyone in the ride-share vehicle. As long as a ride-share driver has personal collision or comprehensive insurance, this policy covers physical damage that occurs during a trip and is subject to a deductible.
2) Insurance coverage for when drivers are logged in, but have not yet accepted a trip:
For drivers who haven’t yet accepted a trip, Didi and China life will provide a 3rd party liability policy. This covers drivers currently responding to Uber requests but not actually operating a trip yet.
There also seems to be interest from China Life in accessing Didi’s research into other on-demand trends in China, whereby China Life will be well positioned to deliver comprehensive financial service and market development support to Didi in building a “financial ecology environment” for safer and more diverse mobile riding services.
Ultimately, ride sharing apps have swept across China as comprehensively as the US. China Life’s new philosophy is to combine internet plus finance in the future and although most insurers in China hold this belief, China Life has the capital and brand recognition required to fulfil this ambitious goal.