A consortium of insurance companies that underwrite higher-risk drivers in New Brunswick is requesting the provincial regulator approve auto insurance premium rate increases for taxi drivers in excess of $1,000.
The insurance group known as the Facility Association hopes to implement a 20.2% increase by January 01, 2020. CBC News reported that once the proposal is approved, the cost to ensure the average cab in NB would jump to $5,906 per year – $1,069 higher than current levels.
Facility Association insures more than 400 taxis in NB – which is nearly all of the commercial cabs operating in the province.
The increase has some taxi drivers concerned the rates could run them out of business.
“[It] stops people from being able to afford to purchase a vehicle on their own and pay the insurance. I mean you’re talking almost $15,000 to $20,000, depending on the vehicle, just to get a car on the road for one year,” George Youssef, co-owner of Checker Cab, told CBC News.
“In the taxi industry, they’re going to put a lot of people out of work. A lot of these guys own their own cars. They can’t afford another insurance increase,” added Shelly Orr of Vet’s Taxi.
Last year, the Facility Association applied for a 21% increase in rates, but NB’s Insurance Board limited it to an 8.4% increase, which the group implemented earlier this month. In its ruling, the provincial insurance board put into question the cost inflation of the group’s insurance services while turning down most of the increase being requested.