Premier John Horgan. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Premier John Horgan regrets big ICBC rate hikes for young people

‘Glaring examples’ need for more work on insurance affordability

Big jumps in basic car insurance rates for young drivers are a problem the B.C. government is continuing to work on, Premier John Horgan says.

ICBC has overhauled its rate structure for liability insurance, shifting to a private-sector model where high-risk categories pay higher premiums. While this has produced reductions for drivers with long-term safe driving records, it has caused some big increases for new drivers, with some finding their insurance is costing them more than their used cars did.

The new system took effect with renewals starting in September, and citizens and opposition politicians have been highlighting the results.

Asked about the issue Monday, Horgan acknowledged that tackling the Crown corporation’s billion-dollar deficits has been a shock to some drivers, or their parents. Attorney General David Eby has also directed a cap on minor injuries and a new system for settling smaller disputes out of court.

“I’ll remind British Columbians that we inherited a serious problem at ICBC,” Horgan told reporters in Victoria Monday. “Minister Eby has been taking steps to reduce costs for people.

“Certainly there are glaring examples where that’s not the case, and we’re going to keep working on affordability and keep working on trying to get ICBC back to a place where British Columbians can be proud of that Crown corporation, rather than contemptuous.”

RELATED: B.C. drivers can calculate their new rates online

RELATED: What you need to know about new ICBC rates

Horgan is expecting to hear about some of those “glaring examples” this week, as the B.C. legislature began its fall sitting. The issue is high on the B.C. Liberal opposition’s list of items to quiz NDP government ministers about.

Opposition leader Andrew Wilkinson says the 45-year-old monopoly on basic insurance is a relic that has shown it isn’t efficient enough to deliver competitive rates.


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