Insurance rate spike in Canada

Was told by my broker that due to the tragic Humboldt accident, insurance companies are hiking all rates across the board. One company received a 400% rate increase. Say goodbye to the little guys.

Jim L

Active Member
That is what your broker is telling you. Yes, insurance is going up but the guy who received a 400% increase deserved it and the insurance company is saying, 'we'll insure you for this but it will not hurt our feelings if you find a better rate someplace else'


Site Supporter
If you run a good company you will not see a 400% increase, the insurance companies are done with questionable companies and the easiest way to get rid of them is a 400% increase.


Site Supporter
It seems to be a usual occurrence every few years with insurance companies. They write as much business as they can to increase their market share, then when the poorly run companies start to cost them money, they hit everyone with an increase. Once the “bad apples” have gone elsewhere, or disappeared, things stabilize and rates level off until the whole process repeats itself.

Freight Broker

Well-Known Member
Insurance companies and their agents also know that the freight market has been very strong, and they want their share of the pie. Maybe Humboldt had something to do with it too.
Hi all (insurance broker here), rates are going up. There’s no doubt about that. 400%? I dont think so. Unless you’re with Economical - I would seek other options.
In Ontario, insurers have consistently put up losses in the trucking market. Nobody is playing ball right now. There is no “match my price” game. Hope you picked a good insurer and hang in there. Time to take more responsibility on handling your losses or absorbing them yourself.

Humboldt has nothing to do with the rate increase. Insurers limit their losses at $2mm or $5mm. This tragic accident was well in excess of that. But the insurers loss was only $2mm (Wawanesa).

Claims that don’t make the news happenon the daily and cap insurer losses to the policy limits.

Until you see interest rates spike, or regulation change. You’re not going to see many decreases friends.

On a side note, we’re seeing losses which exceed $5mm on a regular basis now. How is everyone else managing to limit their liability (ie; what limit of insurance are you buying)?
Trkinsure, are you suggesting that 5mil may not be enough coverage anymore.
We’ve seen 2 successful lawsuits in the past 12 months in the US of carriers getting sued in excess of $90mm, mind you, those are massive company’s.

I would recommend seeking options for excess liability limits. We currently have a client with excess of 100mm limits. It gets less expensive the further up it goes.


Site Supporter
[QUOTE="T. It gets less expensive the further up it goes.[/QUOTE] - As it well should given that frequency will decrease even though severity increases.


Site Supporter
We have 5+5 mil with other insurance contingencies also, we report anything that involves an individual in the other vehicle and look after property damage ourselves without reporting to the insurance company. They will give you the line "it's money in and money out" which is true until they give you an increase because of frequency, obviously if it is high dollars you do need to report.
@lowmiler88 you're bang on. Anything involving your own equipment or property damage to another, you should absorb (if you can) based on the $$$ of the claim.

In the insurers eyes, it is 'money in/money out' but they take risks on many subpar companies and you unfortunately help to subsidize the losses for their poor underwriting choices.

Another great reason to look at captives for guys who are 25 or more trucks with stability in their fleet size, well managed operations and strong financials.


Site Supporter
Insurance companies have basically, 2 forms of revenue. The first is the premiums that customers pay monthly, or quarterly, and the second is the interest they make from the money they have invested. In today's low interest rate environment, that second source of income is struggling just to keep pace with inflation. As these funds are needed to pay for claims, it cannot be placed in high risk products even though the return could be much healthier. Please don't get me wrong, I am in no way apologizing for insurance companies or their behavior. Like a well run casino, they go to great lengths to limit their loses. Unlike a casino though, we do need them.
We were hit with a 10 percent increase. ( Same excuse, Humboldt) I was told though that once our fleet has 10 trucks, they will reduce the surcharge.

Michael Ludwig

Well-Known Member
Just my measly 2 cents worth here, but if your broker is telling you Humboldt is the reason your rates are going up, find another broker RIGHT NOW because the SOB is lying to you.
This year I renewed in place with a ~120% loss ratio. How did I manage that?
1) I have an excellent broker. She is one of the very, very best.
2) I concentrate on a long term relationship with my insurance company. We ride the dragon together, and you can't negotiate with them if you can't say "remember when?".
3) I am a very active participant in my renewal process. I am acutely aware of my short, mid, and long term loss ratio.

As for carrying excess insurance, unless your company is setup to immediately divest itself of every asset and provide absolute, unassailable protection for the principals in the event of a catastrophic accident, then you need insurance in excess of your policy. Keep in mind that the insurance you buy in Canada is in Canadian dollars and the exchange rate comes off your limit, not in addition to, in case of a claim in the U.S.


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