Since my father and I committed to taking our business full-time in the Spring of 2014, we have provided snow removal services to our clients. Over time we found an excellent way of performing the service and rarely had callbacks. We knew the way we conducted the service worked!
However, in the past two years, the insurance industry has tightened its grip on the snow industry's risk. Partly due to how the legal system works as it has been common knowledge that when slip and fall claims arise, the insurance companies offer settlements as legal fees to fight the claims would far surpass the settlement amount. Where this now goes is, snow removal contractors have to pay enormous rates to offer snow removal services.
We recently received a 500% increase in our insurance premium to offer the same service we've been offering for several years. To accommodate the increase in expenses, we would have to find a way to increase our fleet and staff or charge significantly more. We weighed both options, and neither are excellent prospects.
To increase staff would be nearly impossible. Large companies already struggle each year to find snow operators where the margin for error is incredibly small, or you'll find yourself in a lawsuit very quickly.
We could charge more, but we feel that we would be charging significantly more than market value due to our small size, and could risk tarnishing our reputation and alienating our clients—neither of which we want to do.
For these reasons, we will no longer be offering our snow removal service.
As we received confirmation from our insurance broker this past week, we have been unable to find alternate contractors that would have allowed us to hand over previous clients to a qualified snow removal contractor. We also did not want to find ourselves in a position where we referred a contractor who we didn't vet and have someone upset with us for referring a poor service. However, we want to provide you as much notice as possible, so you have time to find a new contractor before winter arrives.
There are many snow removal contractors throughout the Waterloo Region that will be eager to help. We've heard from some that they are already ramping up their snow removal operations to be ready early.
What we'll be up to!
On the back of a successful year, with happy clients and lots of stress, we will be taking the downtime to complete property improvements to our new location, designing projects for next year, and working on some new initiatives to bring more value to our clients in 2021.
It's been a long journey to discover who we are and what we stand for. Now, more than ever, we are convinced that our purpose is creating experiences for families by designing spaces that pull people outdoors!
We thank you for your past, present and future business. We apologize if this is terrible news and inconveniences you. It is genuinely not our intention.
If you need any assistance vetting potential service providers, I am a call away and will gladly help.