Taxi drivers urge Nova Scotia to ignore Facility Association insurance increase request

Published: June 30, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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With insurance rates potentially due to increase for taxi drivers in Halifax, the industry has sked the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board to not allow the hike. Motorists argue increased rates will be a financial burden for cab drivers.

The Facility Association has applied to the board to increase rates. As in other provinces, the Facility Association handles most high-risk auto insurance in Nova Scotia and has requested taxi insurance to be increased by 25 per cent. The latest request continues a consistent increase in coverage for taxi drivers.

Indeed, during 2017 the Facility Association requested a 25.3 per cent increase and returned last November with a further 3.1 per cent request. Taxi drivers are angered, saying the increases are harming income and financial stability.

"I don't think they should increase anything. What happened in one year? Why are they coming back again?" said Darshan Virk, the president of the United Cab Drivers Association of Halifax. 

"I think they're just appealing the decision of the last time, is the way I look at it."

The board turned down the association’s 2017 requests, stating they were made "closely on the heels of an increase that was effective October 1, 2015, which saw rates rise by 24.1 per cent." 

"They keep on asking for an increase every second year. I think that's too much for the public and the taxi industry to bear," said Virk. 

David Simpson, the president and CEO of the Facility Association, said via email that the association bases its requests on yearly reviews and says the proposed increase is fair:

"We review our rating programmes annually for all of the significant classes of auto insurance provided through Facility Association," Simpson wrote. "The rate application arose as a result of that review process.

"As for the amount of the increase, our actuaries are of the view that it's what [is] required to cover the costs of providing the insurance (actually, the actuarial indication is a little higher)."