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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – After former Transportation Minister Todd Stone ordered ICBC’s board of directors to start a comprehensive, third-party, independent review of the fairness and affordability of basic insurance rates in B.C., the findings have been released.
Attorney General and Minister Responsible for ICBC, David Eby, requested that the report be released today and ICBC obliged.
The news from the report that citizens of B.C. will not want to hear is that the average driver in B.C. might have to pay almost $2,000 annual total premiums for auto insurance by 2019, an increase of 30% over today’s rates.
“BC auto insurance premiums have been steadily increasing over the past six to seven years, in large part driven by the increasing number and average settlement of claims being generated.
Recently, BC drivers have been protected from the currently required 15%—20% price increase only through government intervention and rate-smoothing mechanisms designed to avoid sudden material year over year changes to insurance rates. This rate protection has eroded ICBC’s financial situation to a point where such efforts are not sustainable.”
Ernst & Young conducted the review and recommended some changes that could help keep premiums for B.C. drivers low. Some recommendations include doubling the number of cameras at intersections and increasing activation to 100%, point-to-point technology among others.
To view the full review by Ernst & Young, visit: http://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/company-info/Documents/Affordable-and-Effective-AutoInsurance-Report.pdf.
BC Premier John Horgan has maintained the stance that his government would lower ICBC rates for British Columbians.
Eby said on Monday after the report was released that ICBC has been in crisis for years.
“This report makes it clear that ICBC has been in crisis for years, something which the former Liberal government largely ignored. Rather than addressing the serious issues facing the corporation, the BC Liberals used insurance fees as a rapidly growing hidden tax. Drivers have been paying the price.
I can assure British Columbians that help is finally here as our government is committed to working with the public, ICBC’s board, its executive and stakeholders to make rates affordable for people.
There are some obvious solutions that we will look at. For example, the former Liberal government missed such basic ones, such as ensuring good drivers are rewarded while bad drivers pay more. We will focus on finding answers that put the corporation back on stable financial footing, while maintaining our number one priority of making rates affordable.”
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