Rising Insurance Rates & The Snow Industry
“We are in the midst of an insurance crisis,” says Tony DiGiovanni, Executive Director of Landscape Ontario.
Earlier this year, insurance companies’ province-wide issued a huge increase for contractors involved in snow and ice removal. Insurances rates have doubled or tripled, while deductibles have also increased dramatically. Some contractors are not even eligible for insurance for snow operations now.
What caused this?
Well, the increase in frivolous slip & fall lawsuits was a major contributor. Insurance companies often choose to settle slip & fall claims out of court, rather than taking it through the legal process. This incentivizes any claims made in bad faith and allows claimants to pursue frivolous lawsuits.
So, what does this mean for our industry?
Bottom line is, we needed to increase snow removal rates. Now this was not a decision that was taken lightly. In the midst of a global pandemic, the last thing we wanted to do was raise our rates.
In order to keep costs down, we have had to have some serious conversations with our clients – revising our terms and conditions to share the liability in the rare occurrence of a slip and fall on any of the properties we maintain.
What we do to prevent slips & falls
If you read our last post, you know that our snow planning starts in the summer. This means that by the first snowfall, we are ready to go! Some of the things we do to ensure that our sites remain safe are:
- Continuous monitoring while the temperatures are around freezing and below
- Photo logging of each site, noting the conditions at time of inspection
- Dedicated routes for each crew, allowing them to be familiar with the sites and service them properly
Pro Tip: Make sure to request a Certificate of Insurance from your snow removal contractor to ensure that their insurance is valid, and that they have adequate coverage in the event of a slip and fall.
For more information on how insurance rates are affecting the snow industry, please visit Landscape Ontario