Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) Food delivery service providers were given notice by the Ministry of Labor (MOL) Tuesday that they will soon be required to insure their couriers to provide them with coverage when they are delivering food to customers.
The latest notice from the MOL was made after an Uber Eats delivery driver was killed in a traffic accident Oct. 10 and a similar tragedy occurred three days later with a Foodpanda driver, incidents that have sparked hot debate about the safety of food couriers.
Under the newest regulations, food delivery service providers will have to buy both personal insurance and non-life insurance for their drivers.
In terms of the personal insurance, the maximum compensation for death or disability caused to a driver by an accident at work will be NT$3 million (US$98,361), while injured drivers will be paid NT$1,000 per day of hospital stay and doctor consultations at NT$300 per time, according to the guidelines.
In addition, food delivery service providers will have to buy non-life insurance policies for their couriers, with compensation of up to NT$4 million.
Tzou Tzu-lien (鄒子廉), director-general of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the MOL, told reporters that the Financial Supervisory Commission, the top financial regulator in Taiwan, has asked the Non-Life Insurance Association of the Republic of China to map out insurance policies suited to the new guidelines.
There are five major food delivery service operators in Taiwan -- Foodpanda, Uber Eats, Lalamove, Cutaway and Quick Pick.
The new safety rules will also require food delivery operators to equip their couriers with protective devices such as light-reflecting vests or light-reflecting stickers.
In cold weather, providers will have to equip their drivers with warm coats, masks and scarves.
Tzou noted that the new guidelines are not legally binding for the moment, but said the OSHA will write them into the existing occupation safety and sanitation equipment rules so that they will become effective at the end of this year or early next year, when violators will face fines of up to NT$300,000.