When Naby Mariyam went through the traumatic experience of having a loved one diagnosed with cancer, she quickly realised how tough it was to lodge income protection claims and how the insurance industry was failing to support contractors.
“We had income protection and everything but it didn’t cover this situation,” Mariyam told Yahoo Finance.
“All my life I’ve worked as a contractor, and when you‘re a contractor you don’t have that financial security that traditional corporate jobs would provide.”
But on the other hand, there’s a tonne of lifestyle benefits that come with being a contractor. All of this led Mariyam, a social scientist turned tech entrepreneur, to create CoverHero, an insurance-tech startup aligned to the interests of freelancers and gig economy workers.
Her latest creation is Hustle Cover, which launched in January this year and offers income protection to Australian gig economy workers.
“Until now, anyone self-employed or in the gig economy has had to forego income protection and just hope they don’t get sick,” Mariyam said.
“So now we’re covering Covid-19, making it possible for the Australian casualised and contingent workforce to self isolate and recover without worrying about the impact on their earnings.”
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The cover itself costs between $15 and $23 per week, depending on which level of cover Aussies need.
Both covers, Gigster and Hustle Pro, offer accident, sickness and weekly income cover. So if contractors were to get sick during Covid-19, Hustle Cover would cover their weekly income while they are forced off work.
And while the idea came from a personal pain point for Mariyam, there are millions of others who face the same challenges.
In fact, MasterCard predicts that by 2025, the gig economy and the self-employed sector would consist of around 40 per cent of the working population across the globe.
“It’s a huge segment that’s massively underserved by the industry,” Mariyam said.
“We are no longer in the industrial revolution era. We need to change the way we think about protecting today’s workers from a range of emerging challenges.
“Living with purpose, having income security and creating a good quality of life is the most important thing for people who choose to hustle for a living.”
Carl Gough, the founder of startup Meet Magic, said Hustle Cover provides a safety net for contractors in his business.
“If you’re as clumsy as I am, you will know that accidents do happen, especially if you’re juggling the demands of a working life at home,” Gough said.
“I wanted to protect my income and the income of my team, because as Covid-19 has proved, life is very unpredictable.”
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