Instacart Unveils New Benefits for Entrepreneurs: Insurance, Student Loan Assistance and More
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Instacart today announced a series of new benefits designed to address criticism of its independent contractor policies. Starting September 3, the San Francisco-based company will offer benefits such as workers’ compensation coverage, expanded financial and wellness resources, a student loan repayment program, and access to the platform. care from Care.com.
Instacart, which says the number of buyers on its platform has nearly tripled in the past year from 50,000 to 130,000, says the benefits have been informed by surveys, focus groups and in-person sessions he conducted over the course of several months. More than 74% of the participants were women and 51% had children, according to the company. And a majority said they use their income to help pay for daily expenses, with 70% saying they value their employers’ insurance, health and family care offers the most.
“Every day, buyers choose Instacart as a flexible way to increase their income and earn on their own terms. These people buy for different reasons and play many roles besides being buyers – they are parents, entrepreneurs. and students, and they’re as diverse as the grocery store items, “the company wrote in a blog post.” We are constantly striving to create better products, resources and programs to make the customer experience better tomorrow. than it is today It starts with knowing who the Instacart buyers are, listening to their feedback, and making incremental changes to improve over time.
To this end, Instacart Buyer Injury Protection Insurance aims to protect contractors in the event of an accident during execution or delivery. It will apply to all U.S. buyers of full service and provide up to $ 1 million for medical expenses, as well as disability and survivor benefits for eligible dependents. Instacart says it’s intended to supplement workers’ compensation, which will continue to cover in-store shoppers.
Along with buyer injury protection, Instacart buyers will become eligible for a free membership to Care.com, a platform that connects families to child care, senior care, nursing and home care. special care, pet care, cleaning and tutoring. They will also have access to the Stride Network, which offers low-cost health, dental and vision insurance options, in addition to health and financial management tools such as supplemental insurance, telemedicine exams, discounts. on prescriptions, tax return calculators, expense trackers, and more.
Instacart associates with Stride in May to extend insurance to buyers, and this marks an expansion of their existing partnership.
Finally, Instacart says eligible buyers will be able to enroll in Peanut Butter, a holistic student loan assistance program. The Chicago-based startup’s software as a service (SaaS) product streamlines company-sponsored student loan contributions with reporting, debt counseling, and refinancing resources.
“[S]the hoppers told us… that a more holistic approach to the Instacart experience would be beneficial, ”Instacart wrote. “It means delivering programs and benefits that go beyond payment and giving buyers the support and resources they need to thrive… This is one step in a longer journey to create new programs. and offers that support buyers.
The measures come as online delivery services gain in popularity, coinciding with a contraction in delivery wages. Nationally, sales of delivery app companies such as Grubhub, Uber Eats and Postmates grew from $ 7.2 billion in 2017 to $ 10.2 billion in 2018, an increase of about 42%, according to a report published by research firm Technomic. Meanwhile, transportation gig revenue averaged $ 783 per driver per month in 2017, down more than half from 2013.
Following reports detailing how Instacart used tips to cover base salaries, the company said it would separate tips from pay and return salaries back to the end of last year, as well as increase minimum batch payments from $ 3 to $ 5 for delivery jobs only and from $ 7 to $ 10 for jobs involving warehousing and packing. (Instacart guarantees its employees at least $ 10 per job.)
Instacart has aggressively stepped up its service to compete with same-day delivery competitors like DoorDash, which raised around $ 800 million in funding last year. In November, it launched a new pickup grocery option – Instacart Pickup – with retail partners like Wegmans, Cub Foods, Aldi, Food Lion, Publix and Sprouts in 25 regions around Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Nashville, San Francisco and Washington, DC It has recently expanded in Canada, where it says it now serves 60% of Canadian homes and, earlier this year, it expanded alcohol delivery to 14 states through 100 different retailers.
In the roughly seven years since its inception, Instacart has raised approximately $ 1.6 billion in funding, including $ 200 million and a suite $ 600 million in 2018. Instacart says it now reaches nearly 20,000 stores in more than 5,500 cities in North America and that its service is accessible to more than 80% of all households in the United States in all 50 states.
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