Gig Economy

These ex-Deliveroo employee are fixing flexible working

By Kitty Knowles 26 July 2017

Insurance that's fit for modern life.

There’s a lot to be said for flexible working. Who doesn’t know someone delivering takeaways around their uni work, family life, or other intermittent jobs?

Entrepreneurs Harry Franks and Sten Saar saw just how great Deliveroo was when they worked for the company, but also spotted major flaws which meant “flexible working wasn’t flexible at all”.

That’s why, along with a third co-founder, Stuart Kelly, they started Zego – to make gig-work better for everyone.

What’s the problem?

While Deliveroo drivers want to work their own hours, to do this they’re often forced to buy expensive annual insurance for their scooters.

“What resulted was that ‘flexible’ working wasn’t flexible at all,” he explains. “Drivers were needing more hours to cover their insurance overheads, so had to work more, and the cycle begins.”

The Zego team hope to change this, offering specialist pay-as-you-go insurance for drivers working in the gig economy.

It’s already being used by drivers at Deliveroo, UberEats, Amazon, Jinn and Quiqup.

How Zego works

Zego’s app insurance an be topped up like an Oyster card or pay-as-you-go mobile from your smartphone. A driver’s account isn’t then debited until after a shift is worked.

“A driver’s cost is therefore directly associated only to the amount of time they are working, no longer,” says Franks. “Insurance is not wasted – it’s on demand.”

Giving drivers access to affordable flexible cover also has a positive impact on gig economy companies, says Franks, helping them to overcome the “sticking point” that puts off new drivers.

“Zego helps those drivers who want to work flexibly, by bringing flexibility into their costs.”

The Zego insurance cover app.

What’s next?

Since launching last year, Zego has already covered more than 400,000 hours of insurance for drivers, and just last week, it raised £1m in seed funding from investors led by LocalGlobe.

Now it’s also launched a new product for car drivers, for those delivering for courier platforms using their own vehicles. (Something that reminds us of Cuvva – the insurance company that lets regular folk book flexible car insurance on-demand, for the odd road trip, say).

The Zego team are also starting to work out smart ways to offer even better deals to drivers with a good record, building a tracker into the app which gives an accurate picture of how its customers drive.

“Technology has a major part to play in the insurance of the future,” says Franks.

“We want to change the perception of insurance from a necessary evil to something that enables and empowers customers to have more freedom and choice in what they do, and how they work.”

It’s a rallying call, but is it enough to get you out on the road?