ICBC rates to increase 6.4 per cent for basic coverage

With basic and optional ICBC coverage, average driver pays $130 more by next year

  • Sep. 5, 2017 1:30 p.m.

Commuters will see a 6.4 per cent increase to their basic vehicle insurance rates this year, with optional coverage rates increasing up to 9.6 per cent to stem record losses at the Insurance Corporation of B.C.

The basic rate increase takes effect in November and translates to $57 a year more for the average B.C. driver on basic insurance. For drivers who also have ICBC’s optional insurance coverage, a series of quarterly increases in those rates mean the average driver will be paying $130 a year more by next year.

Drivers with at-fault crashes will also face steeper rate increases than are currently assessed.

Attorney General David Eby announced the increases Tuesday, along with what he called “drastic action” to fix financial problems brought about by the previous government’s mismanagement of ICBC. The B.C. Liberals’ pre-election budget projected a $25 million loss for ICBC this year and it now is projected to be 14 times as high, Eby told a news conference in Vancouver.

“The insurer that we inherited has the greatest loss in its history, and has been raided of capital” to the tune of $1 billion that should have been left for investment income in the Crown corporation, Eby said. ICBC recorded a loss of $500 million last year.

B.C. Liberal critic Andrew Wilkinson said the problem today is a surge in accidents and claims that led to a $2.4 billion being paid out in 2015 alone. Some of the actions Eby announced are contained in a review commissioned by the B.C. Liberal government, he said.

”British Columbia has the toughest drunk driving laws, increased penalties for distracted driving, has doubled premiums on high-end luxury vehicles, shrunk the ICBC executive team and transferred money from optional insurance to keep the basic insurance costs low,” Wilkinson said.

Eby announced a series of measures to stem accidents and soaring vehicle and injury claim costs, including an increase in operating hours for red light cameras. Currently running six hours a day at high-crash intersections, the cameras will go to 12 and then 24-hour operation as monitoring staff are added.

Another system being studied is the use of motion sensors to disable mobile phones for people with a history of using them while driving. A cap on soft tissue injury claims is also being studied, but Eby reiterated that drivers will not lose their right to sue ICBC via a no-fault insurance scheme that sets payouts for injury claims.

Eby rejected the idea of privatizing ICBC or opening up competition for basic insurance. Ontario has an all-private system and drivers there pay the highest insurance premiums in the country, he said.

Just Posted

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

BC Budget’s Top 10 promises the North Coast will care about

BC Ferry fare reductions, Indigenous language investments, rent support for seniors

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Cariboo woman raises funds for Seizure Investigation Unit beds at VGH

VGH Foundation gets VCH approval to begin fundraising for SIU beds; local efforts are paying off

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

Most Read