Thunder Bay – BUSINESS – Small to medium business has been struggling over the past year. The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns as well as a shift to online shopping has left many business owners working long hours to keep up.
Now it appears another challenge is on the horizon for over 200 Thunder Bay commercial property owners.
Insurance companies have in many cases boosted their rates. Building owners have told NetNewLedger that in some cases increases are in the range of thousands of dollars annually.
What is looming are Loss Control Surveys.
Wawanesa Insurance which is one of Canada’s Insurance Companies says that “To start, it’s worth noting that most major insurers have a Loss Control or Loss Prevention department. Typically, when you sign up for a new policy or when it comes time for renewal, the underwriter may request the Loss Control team to perform a survey. In a nutshell, they will be assessing any possible hazards on your property, such as electrical and plumbing system hazards, with the goal to help prevent or minimize losses in your home, business or farm.
“We’re not inspectors, and we’re definitely not code enforcers. We’re risk consultants,” clarifies Paul Johnston, Eastern Commercial Manager of Loss Control with Wawanesa Insurance. “We work with our clients and try to keep them from incurring a loss.”
“It’s a win-win situation. Loss Control is great for both the company and for our policyholders.”
Property owners are tentative in this matter. Having their rates go up already in the range of thirty per cent they are seeing this Loss Control Survey as another way their insurance companies could be rising their rates again.
One property owner shares with NetNewsLedger, “Implementing mass Loss Control Surveys on local commercial business owners in Thunder Bay after many saw an huge increase in insurance premiums is going to be a hardship for small business in the city. Not just in their bottom line, but emotionally. I think some entrepreneurs will give up after everything they have been through these past two years. We need the government to step in and monitor these surveys.”
Commercial vehicle insurance rates have been soaring massively throughout the pandemic.
Provincially the government has been offering supports for small to medium businesses, and likely some form of new help could be needed.