Wolt’s Head of Insurance and Risk
Despite being based in Copenhagen and having an inconspicuous surname, Garrett Olson is not actually Danish by birth. Garrett is an American that comes from a long line of Petersens, Eriksens and Olsons – Danes and Swedes, meaning the Nordic connection has come full circle.
Raised in Minnesota, Garrett moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State University, where he obtained his bachelor's degrees in International Business and Psychology. He later attended Thunderbird School of Global Management to obtain his MBA and continue his passion to work and live abroad.
After working on a passion project in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with the co-founder of Ticketmaster, Olson kicked off his career in the financial services sector, working in the London Market for Zurich Insurance as an Underwriter and subsequently as the Chief of Staff to the CEO of General Insurance in Zurich, Switzerland. Following Zurich’s decision to relocate their Latin American leadership to São Paulo, Garrett joined the new team in Brazil and was responsible across the region for strategy and corporate development.
In 2016 he returned to Europe, changing industries to join the global shipping and logistics company Mærsk in their Strategy team. He was an advisor to the Executive Board to lead the formation and execution of the technology investment portfolio and the creation of their digital unit to develop commercial-grade software products.
With a continued interest in digitising industrial leaders, Garrett joined FLSmidth A/S, an OEM to the cement and mining sector, to build their Digital Partnerships and Corporate Venture unit on behalf of the Board of Directors. He was responsible for their first investments into a sustainability fund, startups and revenue generating partnerships.
His interest in startups led Garrett to Wolt in 2020, where he has developed company-wide risk and insurance programmes from scratch. He is focused on capturing the wide range of risks they face, and embeds them into their strategy. He has utilised insurtech to develop an industry-leading safety net for an organisation experiencing rapid growth and pushing the boundaries of the platform economy.
Building insurance by listening to Wolt’s couriers
As Wolt’s Head of Insurance and Risk, Olson is responsible for overseeing the insurance propositions that the company provides to its courier partners. Wolt offers two types of insurance cover to the courier partners. The accident cover includes a “broad spectrum of risks that couriers face,” Olson tells us – including dislocations, broken bones, chipped teeth and more serious injuries all the way up to death.
“We’ve built some unique aspects into our programme, specifically because we’ve listened to courier partners, assessed municipal data and pushed the insurance industry to adapt,” Olson continues. This includes a death benefit paid out to a dependent of a courier partner, as well as protection against assault.
The second programme revolves around third-party liability for courier partners. The benefits of this are two-fold, Olson says: first it is aligned with Wolt’s commitment to make the cities they’re in better places, as the insurance protects against unfortunate incidents courier partners may have caused. Second, it also fills an unmet gap in the insurance market.
“It’s virtually impossible for an individual courier partner to go and get that type of coverage elsewhere,” he says, “particularly if their mode of transportation is an e-vehicle, a bike, or just delivering on foot.” In most Wolt countries the only component of insurance that courier partners are responsible for themselves is the mandatory motor insurance – understandable given that riders and drivers use their own vehicles. But incidents that occur after they set foot outside that vehicle, and attempt to deliver the order to the customer, is covered through Wolt.
It’s important that you have a passion for what you do in life – and if you work for a food delivery platform, it helps to be a foodie. Thankfully, Olson is a dab hand in the kitchen and knows what he likes. When he and his wife order takeout for the evening (using Wolt, of course), they usually plump for Thai cuisine or sushi. But left alone, he will always take a trip straight back to his roots. “Whenever I have a chance, I order fried chicken sandwiches,” he says. “I think so far I’ve found two places in Copenhagen that come close to the ones back at home.”
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“For me, we're so much more than a large technology company. There's a responsibility on us as a strategic partner to nations, and as a partner to governments.”