ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

ICBC will be seeking a 6.3 per cent increase to basic insurance rates.

The Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday afternoon.

If approved, the changes will come into effect on April 1, 2019, and increase a customers’ basic insurance rate by an average of about $60.

“A rate increase is never going to be positive but I think the more important thing in this announcement is that this is an encouraging sign that we’re seeing the positive measures that we’re implementing, in terms of reform, come to light,” said Nicolas Jimenez, president and CEO of ICBC.

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The increase follows last year’s hike that increased basic insurance rates by 6.4 per cent.

ICBC said it is projecting a net loss of $890 million for its current fiscal year, as external pressures continue to grow from a record number of crashes taking place in B.C., and the increase in claims volume and higher claims costs.

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In a separate statement, Attorney General David Eby said the announcement serves as a reminder of the financial crisis at the insurance corporation.

“Our government has taken on the difficult work of fixing the problems left behind at ICBC, including implementing the very solutions the old government was told could have prevented this mess,” he said.

The NDP government has moved to cap pain and suffering awards to $5,500 starting next fall, and is setting up a dispute resolution system to reduce the number of injury cases going to court.

In a year-end interview with Black Press, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said it’s time to consider ending ICBC’s monopoly on basic insurance.

“We’ve got to ask hard questions,” Wilkinson said. “Is it time to convert it into a co-op or a mutual insurance company that’s owned by the policy holders, and they get some control over it? Is it time to introduce competition?”


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