(Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS) Baldev Dhugha, owner of BNN Enterprises, is being quoted $40,000 by ICBC to insure a van under an employee’s name. See video @ mapleridgenews.com.

Sky-high insurance premium hits Pitt Meadows farmer

Facing ICBC bill of $40,000 to ensure 16-year-old Dodge Caravan

A Pitt Meadows blueberry farmer is wondering how his farm will work this season facing a $40,000 ICBC bill to insure one of his vehicles in his employee’s name.

Baldev Dhugha wants to insure the 2002 Dodge Caravan in one of his employees’ names at BNN Enterprises blueberry farm.

Both he and his employee have clean driving records.

“I cannot drive every vehicle because I hire three to four drivers. I want to hire him to give him the job, so that he can work for me. If he drives this van, it’s $40,000 a year,” Dhugha said.

He said $40,000 is a ridiculous amount.

“I’ve never seen it anywhere like that. I think I’m the first guy. How can I run my business if I can’t hire a driver?”

Dhugha has four other farm vehicles, including another 15-passenger van and has those insured in his other employees’ names.

“Not $40,000. Maximum $200 a month payment.”

But for some reason, this year, when he came to insure the Caravan, the premium had jumped from about $1,700 a year to $20,000 for six months, or $40,000 for the year, according to a quote.

Dhugha bought the vehicle last year and has been running the farm for 30 years and this is the first time he’s encountered the problem and he’s not sure what he’s going to do.

He’s talked to his insurance agency, which told him it can’t do anything.

ICBC didn’t return phone calls by deadline.

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