SAUBLE BEACH, ONT. -- Mat Dwyer says his dream business has been dealt a death blow.

“We have less than 100 days of cash left because this significant increase in our insurance costs, doesn’t let us get to the spring,” he says.

Dwyer and his wife bought the Red Bay Lodge, north of Sauble Beach over a year ago. They spent much of their time fixing it up before recently opening, only to have their business impacted greatly by COVID-19.

If that wasn’t bad enough, they got a letter from their insurance company about 2021 renewal rates, that would be rising from $16,000 per year to a whopping $57,000 per year.

“There is no possibility for us to have a $5,000/month insurance payment. We’d have to sell two of our rooms, every single night, 365 days of the year, just to pay that bill. It’s 93 orders of fish and chips a day, to pay that bill,” says a frustrated Dwyer.

Dwyer says he’s not alone. He’s heard from others in the hospitality business that their insurance rates have also gone through the roof, with little to no explanation from their insurance companies.

“Honestly the reason they gave me was, they didn’t want to do it anymore. There was a significant number of insurers who were unwilling to insure restaurants, bars, and in our case, lodges,” says Dwyer.

Dwyer has contacted the Insurance Bureau of Canada, along with his MPP, PC Bill Walker, to try and find out what if anything, can be done to try and save his business.

Dwyer says, “There has been a lot of talk about price gouging, and how businesses shouldn’t be raising prices during the pandemic. What about the insurance industry?”

Facing a 256 per cent increase in insurance costs, a pandemic, and only 100 days of cash left, Dwyer hopes this is not the end of the Red Bay Lodge, that’s been in existence for the past 71 years.

“We can’t make a business out of this with more than $5,000/month in insurance costs. It doesn’t allow us to open the doors,” says Dwyer.