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Taking the Backseat: Taxi drivers highlight increases in insurance premiums as reason for loss of jobs, company closures

Kitchener, Ontario — Taxi Drivers in the Kitchener-Waterloo area are speaking out against heightened insurance rates causing many drivers to put their taxis in park, permanently.

Insurance rates in the area are said to have nearly quadrupled, causing drivers and company owners alike to quit the business.

“We were paying approximately $3,000 a year, now we’re paying $11,000, $12,000,” said the owner of City Cabs in Kitchener, Radenko Ivanisevic.

“It’s really hard to pay the bills and make some money,” said Ivanisevic.

The suspected cause of these insurance increases is linked to the simple fact that better profit can be made on doubled premiums.

Furthermore, many taxi drivers have to get facility insurance, which is typically meant for the highest-risk drivers.

“The government is aware of the current issues regarding the availability and affordability of commercial taxi insurance,” said The Ontario Ministry of Finance in an email.

“Taxi insurance is a specialty product. As such, it is priced to reflect the higher risk nature of the service…”

Another potential reason for the increases is the rise in claims from commercial drivers. Claims filed are also often more severe in these taxi-related claims than in other insured commercial vehicles.

Despite this fact, however, many Taxi drivers see the continuation of the trade as unfeasible. Cab companies and their employees must pass some of the insurance increases onto their customers, or face the risk of downsizing or complete closure.

Do you think that taxi drivers should face the brunt of increased insurance rates due to their job? Or should special consideration be given considering that they provide an essential service?

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