Slavery again

Insurance companies are being told they are driving taxi drivers and operators of public service vehicles (PSVs) out of business with the planned rise in insurance premiums.

Worse yet, one taxi driver warned, the number of uninsured vehicles on the island’s roads will likely increase.

President of the General Insurance Association of Barbados Michael Holder revealed on Friday that premiums for property and motor insurance could increase by between ten and 25 per cent effective January 1 next year due to the damage caused by the recent hurricanes. In fact, some companies are reportedly planning a rise of up to 30 per cent.

A taxi driver, who gave his name only as Andre, told Barbados TODAY the insurance companies were being unfair.

“That is a big jump and at the end of the day people gine be driving around illegally. That is not good. You have to look at the way that the consumers and those that putting the things in place can benefit from it. They will cause people to do crime and things all around hard,” Andre said.

Taxi driver Andre

The veteran taxi driver with 20 years experience complained that insurance rates were already high and, when added to the soaring prices that Barbadians have to pay for goods and services, there was no doubt many of them would not be able to afford such an increase.

“The way how things going in this country, everything going up except people’s pay. At the end of the day it’s like we being driven back into slavery. That’s all I’m saying. I am not seeing any hope for the people that working. People just work to make sure the insurance people and Government get money and the people can’t enjoy them money.

“I think it is unfair. It is hard on the average Barbadians working hard to send [their children to] school. I really think that people have to stand up to these things because it’s not right.”

Similar sentiments were shared by operator Cortez McCollin, who said taxi drivers simply could not bear any more burden.

Cortez McCollin

“I feel very bad about this hike. When things happen like this in the economy it means that things aren’t going down, they are going up. We are trying to survive on a level but when things go up, we are suffering. We aren’t making a big income and still have to pay bills, and insurance rates going up. I don’t think it is right. It makes matters worse. I feel it is unfair for that to be happening,” McCollin said.

With the start of the tourist season quickly approaching, those taxi drivers, many of whom have complained of late that business has been slow, were looking forward to making a few dollars more.

However, Reuben Edwards told Barbados TODAY any hike in premiums will send many of them crashing out of business.

Reuben Edwards

“Business right now is to the bottom. Over the last two or so years in Barbados taxing has been really down. For insurance to go up at this time I believe that they are going to put some people out of business completely.

“Anything that raise between ten and 25 per cent sound like madness to me. It is real disrespect to raise anything that high one time,” Edwards said.

President of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport Roy Raphael has also criticized the planned increase, arguing it would negatively impact the PSV sector.

Raphael said that news last week from the GIAB that premiums were at an all-time low had injected a degree of optimism within the PSV sector.

However, he said with owners and operators already losing out due to the number of potholes, the increase will reverse any gains they would have enjoyed.

“It will affect the PSV industry tremendously. There have been no changes where our income is concerned. We still realize that on some routes we were still seeing less passengers and then we have seen an increase in our maintenance costs as a result of potholes.

“We were very happy only last week to learn that the insurance companies were saying that we, the PSVs, were enjoying the lower premium, but now to hear that there is an increase from the first of January that generally concerns us.

“We would like to see a decrease. There have been no major accidents in PSVs, so there is nothing to justify that PSVs are part of the risk. But the insurance companies should be willing to meet with us before they increase the premium next year.”

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Association of Private Transport Operators (APTO) Morris Lee said his association would adopt a “wait and see” approach.

“In the event that there is an increase it all ties back into what I have been saying all along. We are not in a position where we can pass on the cost of additional insurance to the customer because our bus fares stay at two dollars. Insurance premiums on PSVs are high, so if they get any higher, that can’t be good for the industry. We would be at disadvantage.”

36 Responses to Slavery again

  1. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan November 6, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    These increases were obvious. From the time you get hurricane damage like what was experienced abroad we knew this was coming

    • Rishona Graham
      Rishona Graham November 7, 2017 at 11:46 am

      Obvious . So all the years we didn’t have hurricanes what you really telling me .

    • Jai Khan
      Jai Khan November 7, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      I’m telling you Rishona Graham and all who do not know..hikes in our insurance rates are based on global events, absolutely nothing to do with whether we have hurricanes or not

      • Steve November 9, 2017 at 9:02 pm

        Just greedy Insurance Companies. Not saving the money when there were no hurricanes, just paying it out to shareholders, then when the damage comes, put the prices up!

  2. Raheem Griffith
    Raheem Griffith November 7, 2017 at 12:07 am

    Haha.. I hope they don’t still try to void your claims in the event one does try to file one after a disaster.

  3. Dennis Taitt
    Dennis Taitt November 7, 2017 at 1:46 am

    This is white collar crime. Why should we have to pay increases for things beyond our control? Crime I say.

  4. Dennis Taitt
    Dennis Taitt November 7, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Boycott them

  5. Saga Boy November 7, 2017 at 4:58 am

    Dennis why would you make a suggestion for people to break the law? Think before you write. This is totally beyond the control of local insurance companies. They don’t earn enough money to pay policy holders if there is a mass destruction of houses similar to what occurred in Dominica. In relation to vehicles, everyday there are accidents involving reckless Minibus, ZR and Transport Board drivers. If people took their time and obeyed the laws premiums might be lower as well. I am surprised that people have not yet blamed the DLP for this announced increase as yet.

    • Jennifer November 7, 2017 at 6:01 am

      Saga boy, i can understand what you are saying to Dennis, however; you too is posting info you know not of. What do you know of these insurance company’s books or fiances and not making enough money or losses. Man if these people had 5000000000000 dollars on record they would still carry premiums up. And lie with it too. Dennis you cannot boycott bro, and go to whom???? = alliance.
      Slavery!!!!!!! Man this people should have done what the Caucasian told them and obeyed and go SEGREGATED, believe you me. And anyone who thinks any different needs to get their brains out and use it. Oh, and we can all brace for more of these disasters too.

  6. Richard Johnston November 7, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Tough luck. They get cars cheap, they should pay to insure them.

  7. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow November 7, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Insurance companies have share holders and some fraudulent claims are absorb by peter paying for paul’s a complaint world wide….you damm with or without coverage

  8. Lionel Gittens
    Lionel Gittens November 7, 2017 at 8:40 am

    This is not fair.

  9. Greengiant November 7, 2017 at 8:53 am

    @Dennis Taitt: It’s called ‘guilty by association’. Our insurance companies are associated with the same re – insurers as those in the islands suffering disasters, so naturally the shared increases have to be spread among all the companies and countries they cover.

  10. Hugh Roberta Ferguson
    Hugh Roberta Ferguson November 7, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Smarten UP operators / drivers & STOP voting for the usless DLP socialist gov’t…Think it helps initially, but always ends in a FINANCIAL, then social mess…

    • Rishona Graham
      Rishona Graham November 7, 2017 at 11:45 am

      This has nothing to do with B or D this is greed a continuing trend on the island .

    • Pauline Taitt
      Pauline Taitt November 7, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Stop blaming everything on the Government, when will citizens take responsibility for their actions? What about the irresponsible drivers?

    • Epaphras D. Williams
      Epaphras D. Williams November 7, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      Rishona is right. Greed

  11. Michael Goodman
    Michael Goodman November 7, 2017 at 9:21 am

    So you really believe people are going to leave their cars parked up because they can’t afford to pay a substantially increased premium?

    So if you have third party insurance and your car is destroyed and your breadwinner killed by an uninsured car, that’s the end of that. You’re on your own…..

    Won’t more people (very unwisely) ‘take a chance’ and stop paying home or contents insurance’?

    And if less people pay insurance and the claims to premium ratio keeps going up with the increasing incidence of accidents, how will that help the insurance company finances?

    • Raheem Griffith
      Raheem Griffith November 7, 2017 at 11:26 am

      Good question. We could analyze this for hours and still not conclusively come up with a solution. There will be casualties. Plain and simple.

    • Akobi Gill
      Akobi Gill November 7, 2017 at 11:48 am

      Because as with all things, no one cares about the long term, all they care about is the quick profit.

  12. lester November 7, 2017 at 9:23 am


  13. Thunder November 7, 2017 at 9:31 am

    The insurance company doesn’t want to loose and if they begin to loose lots of business,they will feel it as well,everyone needs to stick together.
    However the reality is because they have paid out large sums of money they will be looking to recover by raising fees,but those fees should not be a burden, they should be affordable to all.

  14. Sue Donym November 7, 2017 at 10:10 am

    We grossly underestimate our ability to cause change.
    Lots of people have mortgages which carry a condition to keep the property insured – and the insurance companies know that.
    Many car loans have a provision to keep the vehicle insured comprehensively – and insurers know that.
    Several businesses have an owner/partner’s property tied in as collateral and therefore have to be insured. The insurance companies are well aware of this.
    While the local claims connected to hurricanes would have been few, the potential for disaster will itself be used by insurance companies to persuade people to insure, however high premiums may rise.

    All that aside, how many people who have free and clear title would be willing to make some noise and reduce their level of insurance or cancel their insurance to put pressure on the insurance companies? How many are willing to say to their insurers/brokers/agents that the will shop by price and insist on finding a lower rate for the next period of cover? Granted, some people are in tight financial conditions and don’t want to risk exposure, but what reason would the insurance companies have to do things any differently? How many are willing to risk/sacrifice for three or six monthe until insurance companies get the message that they have to be more considerate of the consumers that are the reason for their business? I’m not being naive, I know that people have good reasons for the spending decisions they make, but when is the last time many of us seriously questioned the value we get out of our insurance spending? Yes, peace of mind is worth something and the insurers will be the first to tell you that you can’t just look at the money. But that’s exactly what they base everything on – not so?

    Can’t insurance companies make one awards dinner or sponsored event less lavish? Can’t their executives hold company cars for one or two more years before replacement? It can’t only be customers that have to absorb the hits. People, it’s time to talk with your money, the language that the insurance companies understand.

  15. Rishona Graham
    Rishona Graham November 7, 2017 at 11:45 am

    What it really is . Is that the NSR and rising cost of living has affected the CEOs of the said companies which has them struggling to pay their pool boys land scapers and house keepers mistresses,men and God knows whoever else they supporting so again we the consumer is to pay for it as usual . I want a party that will stamp out this greed cause all it is greed . There is no VIP in the cemetery and you can’t take the monies with you !!

    • Epaphras D. Williams
      Epaphras D. Williams November 7, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      You know what is going on lady. Domestics, can’t even get paid on time. Cutting here and there but still trying to live large. Game over. God ain’t sleeping

  16. milli watt November 7, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I would like to get a car duty free all now. Instead of trying to find a way to keep premiums in check the usual complaints from persons who quarrel about the income tax they got to pay ssttuuupppssseee

  17. Adrian Allison
    Adrian Allison November 7, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I never thought I would ever be defending Insurance companies because I believe that the Insurance business is the largest legalized scam in existence but I will say that when it comes the PSV system in Barbados they must accept that they are the ones that are driving up their own insurance costs and driving themselves out of business.
    Insurance operate on the basis that higher the risk higher the cost and only a person living under a rock wouldn’t know that the reckless driving habits of PSV’s are responsible for probably the highest percentage of vehicular damage and human injuries on our roads.
    They need to own the fact that their attitude, bad driving habits and reckless road use are the main reasons for their high insurance rates and rectify that situation rather than look around blaming factors other than the results of their own creation.

  18. Pauline Taitt
    Pauline Taitt November 7, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Son, don’t place all the blame on the Insurance Companies. The negligent drivers who cause accidents, and damage to life, and vehicles is the cause of the hike. Sadly, careful drivers end up having to pay for the mistakes of others including the one who drive around uninsured, and without Drivers Licenses.

    • Cheryl Barrow
      Cheryl Barrow November 7, 2017 at 4:49 pm

      well let the ones who are causing all the accident pay more

  19. Alvin Morris November 7, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Insurance is legalized extortion. Would the insurance companies be willing to give it’s customers a refund during the times we had no hurricanes or damages reported? My chances of winning the lottery is greater than seeing the insurance companies refund their customers.

  20. Sue Donym November 7, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    It would be a shock to the general public to know the facts about loss in the motor insurance industry in Barbados. If people were to keep a closer check on the accidents – minor, serious, fatal – reported in the newspaper, the perspective on who’s more responsible for high rates would be quite different.

    Last available information shows Transport Board accounting for a higher number of traffic accidents and a greater loss than via minibuses or route taxis – and in some periods more than Bs and ZRs combined! When risk as calculated based on numbers carried and time spent on the road is compared to sector claims and losses, PSV premiums are actually SUBSIDISING private vehicles.

    The observations show that PSVs cause delays and congestion from poor road use, moreso than accidents and eventual loss. More telling was the revelation that in accidents involving PSVs, private vehicles were more often at fault.
    Ask the insurance companies for the statistics.

  21. Mark Adamson November 8, 2017 at 6:57 am

    The answer to these kinds of insurance problems lie in the ABOLITION OF MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE IN BARBADOS.

    The People Democratic Congress (PDC) has been promulgating this for some while now.

    There must be no block whatsoever to the people of Barbados who already own the road network in Barbados, who already own the money stock in this country, thousands upon thousands of whom already own their own vehicles, who already have the constitutional right to freedom of movement, to us driving our OWN vehicles on OUR OWN ROADS, FREE of MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE.

    Under a certain future COALITIONAL government of Barbados – and of which the PDC will be part – there shall be the ABOLITION of Motor Vehicle Insurance in this country.

    There shall be a public/private sector run system that will be established to make sure that those persons or groups of persons that have suffered genuine accidents on any public accesses and properties leading to damages and losses, that they are funded upon their making such claims for financial assistance to the system and upon the system having made the proper and complete investigations of such accidents.

    The core financial system will fund such financial assistance.

  22. Andrew Simpson November 8, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Being that there will be no taxation under a PDC model, I wonder where the core financial system will get such funds to provide assistance. And what mechanism would be used to keep us accountable, in the absence of no claim discount policies that presently incentivize more care on the road.


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