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Trucking companies, drivers dealing with skyrocketing insurance rates

Last Updated Jan 29, 2021 at 7:38 am MDT

Tractor-trailers sit in a parking lot. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/David Zalubowski

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – It is another major hurdle for the trucking industry in the middle of a global health pandemic.

Companies and drivers say they are dealing with soaring insurance rates even if they have good driving records.

A company in Red Deer tells 660 NEWS the premiums are so high in some cases, finance companies are denying loans, impacting attempts to get new drivers to join the industry.

“Our industry is already experiencing a driver shortage,” said Chris Nash with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA). “When we look at insurance and how it works to bring in new entrants into the industry that are under the age of 25, it produces that challenge because nothing is recognized in there and they’re considered risk.”

Nash added that some carriers are reporting premium increases of up to 400 per cent over the last couple of years.

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The biggest challenge in all this is that drivers with great driving and safety records are being hit with those higher rates.

Despite moves by some drivers to invest in extra safety measures, premiums continue to go up.

“Telematics, cameras, things that report on everything that goes on whether you are in an incident or not, to be able to manage and have a safe fleet to make sure everyone gets home,” said Nash. “The problem is, the carriers that don’t and have the large claims are impacting the folks that are investing in it and it’s not recognized by insurance when they do that.”

The AMTA is now lobbying insurance companies to take safety records and training programs into consideration, and not just put blanket rates on all truckers.

“What we’re recognizing is claims cost for those carriers is being a shared cost between all of the industry,” added Nash. “That’s becoming a challenge when we have folks telling us that they’re happy they only got a 25 per cent increase.”