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Significant increase in insurance premiums for plumbers

Many plumbers are currently facing quadrupled insurance premiums, often reaching tens of thousands of dollars. The number of accidents and claims related to plumbing work has increased drastically in recent years. These incidents cost insurance companies a lot of money, making the plumbing industry a much less desirable market for them. The result? A considerable increase in premiums for plumbing companies.

Most claims are related to water damage

Among the growing number of plumbing-related incidents, water damage is at the top of the list, generating approximately 23 percent of all insurance claims. Since these have outright doubled during the past few years, it’s no surprise that insurance companies are withdrawing their support for plumbers.

Other motives for claims include water heaters that have surpassed their service life, damaged washing machine hoses and various types of defective plumbing.

But what are the causes of water damage?

Water damage has a number of different causes, which can sometimes be difficult to detect. However, the most common ones include the following:

  • Defective or damaged window caulking
  • Insufficiently weather-proofed walls, roofing and openings (patio doors and windows)
  • Leaky or broken pipes
  • Backed-up sewers
  • Overflowing washing machines, bathtubs, toilets and dishwashers

Little mistakes leading to big bills

When we talk about disasters, we’re not always referring to dramatic events. The slightest error can often lead to very costly insurance claims. This is why plumbers sometimes feel as if they’re walking a tightrope. Despite taking numerous precautions and having an excellent track record, many plumbers have seen their premiums double, triple or even quadruple. There have been significant increases all across the board.

This is why the Corporation of Master Pipe Mechanics of Quebec (CMMTQ) has decided to make this matter a priority.

Lower interest rates are less attractive to insurers

Low interest rates are yet another reason behind the reluctance of insurance companies to take on plumbers as clients. In fact, the lower the rates, the lower the yield insurers generate on the premiums they collect. This makes it less appealing to enter into contracts with clients in higher-risk industries.

The construction industry is also affected

According to a survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), nearly 76 percent of all small general construction companies reported that their premiums went up in 2021. So plumbers aren’t the only ones facing this problem.

Insurance always represents a significant portion of any company’s overhead, regardless of the sector. For small and medium-sized businesses, these expenses can effectively impede their ability to grow. In the end, companies are often obligated to increase the fees they charge their clients in order to offset this surcharge and ensure the sustainability of their businesses.

 

Source: De nombreux plombiers submergés par leur prime. La Presse, October 7, 2021.

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