For more than five years, Frank Hunt’s moving company has been a pillar of his community in Barrie, Ont., but he says his award-winning business is now on its knees — and he blames his insurance company.
“They’re killing us. They’re literally shutting down the business,” he told CBC News. He says onerous demands from his insurer have led to a loss of about 75 per cent of his revenue.
Hunt, 73, says his company pays about $10,000 for commercial vehicle insurance each year. He says there have been no claims or accidents. “Not even a broken windshield,” he said.
His problems began in May, when his insurer suddenly demanded his drivers upgrade their licences to beyond what Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation requires. He and his drivers are legally allowed to drive the company’s five-ton moving trucks with a basic G licence.
“This year, the insurance company comes up with, ‘Oh, you’ve got to have a different licence, a D licence, or you can’t drive.’ I only have a G licence, so I can’t even drive my own vehicles anymore,” Hunt told CBC News.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada says if small business owners want to know why their policy requirements are getting tighter and their premiums are getting higher, they should look no further than COVID-19. The bureau says insurers “have been confronted with increased costs” due to the pandemic.
But that’s little consolation to Hunt and his wife Karina Shaak, 65. They tried to switch insurance companies. They were told they couldn’t, unless they agreed to pay much higher premiums — as much as $25,000, more than double what they previously paid.
So the couple hired new drivers with D licences, or higher. Their insurer refused to cover them, though, claiming the new hires didn’t have three years