In this interview, Amerson Lin, Founder of Gigacover, talks about freelancer income protection. A large part of freelance-workers in Asia fears extended periods of medical leave – Anywhere from a few days to several months – either due to an illness or an injury as their cashflow and ability to support themselves would vanish. Gigacover tries exactly to solve this problem. Keep reading to learn how Gigacover’s solution is provinding insurance to the freelancer around Asia.
What inspired you to create Gigacover? What are the pain points of the future of work and how does Gigacover solve it?
Back in 2016, we were studying the startup landscape and spent quite a bit of time evaluating trends in the world, as well as more specifically in Southeast Asia. There were a few themes that interested me: the future of work, the rising middle class and banking the unbanked. These were all extremely relevant in Southeast Asia, a region that was coined as the “next billion users”.
I saw how Grab/Uber/GOJEK and various other on-demand freelancer platforms were creating a whole new workforce. I also saw how greater access to tools, changing attitudes to independent work and desire for flexibility would uplift nearly 200M of Southeast Asia’s workforce. We embarked on a quick study and realised that financial security and stability was one of the larger pain points for this emerging workforce.
Addressing this need would mean providing insurance, healthcare and financial lubrication in an affordable and flexible manner. That is Gigacover’s mission — we want to build technology and data capabilities that allow supply-side giants (insurers, clinic chains, credit providers) to access and serve this overlooked workforce.
How do you manage the claims for ‘freelancer income protection’? What qualifies as a claim and how do you validate the claim?
Gigacover’s freelancer income protection product can be considered to be our version of a large family of prolonged medical leave products. For a lot of future workers, they may lose income if they are faced with extended periods of medical leave, which can either be due to an illness or an injury. An extended period of medical leave can be anywhere from a few days to a couple of months. For many freelance or self-employed workers, this could result in a loss of income that could be serious enough to affect cashflow.
An insurance claim against this product would be valid if the insured can produce any documentation (medical certificate, hospital leave certificate) representing medical leave. Insured people can submit the necessary details and supporting documents through our mobile app and our technology is able to extract key details like the condition, the length of medical leave required, the doctor and the clinic. Together with publicly available data sources and our own proprietary data, our system processes the claim and performs some validations. We are able to validate the details of the doctor, the clinic or the hospital, and validate the nature of the injury/illness against the medical leave given.
After validation, if the claim amount is below a certain limit, our system can automatically approve or reject the claim. If the claim amount is above the limit, we will escalate the case to a claims officer.