Editor’s Log: ICBC — Red and Dead

Toronto, Ontario–August 16, 2019–According to a study from a government-run organization, British Columbians pay more for auto insurance premiums than residents of any other province.

In B.C., the average driver pays more than $1,800 for auto insurance each year–more than $300 more than Ontarians, which has the second-highest provincial premiums. It is also more than two-and-a-half times as much as the average Quebec driver, who pays a little more than $700 per year. 

Things are not about to get better–after all, the Crown Corporation lost more than two billion dollars in 2017 and 2018, but, at the beginning of this year, it had more than 100,000 ongoing legal disputes. The estimated price tag on those? Seven billion dollars. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, unless there is a major change in B.C.’s auto insurance infrastructure, the premium will continue to rise.

This isn’t to say that the ICBC isn’t trying to curb spending, just that the policies that the reforms it has announced to cut its costs are comically late in coming. In August, it was announced that policy owners would soon have to begin listing all the regular divers of insured vehicles; pay higher premiums if categorized as a high-risk driver; pay additional fees for drivers with learners permits; enjoy a premium increase for driving more than 5000 km per year.

It is even taking bold new steps, like rewarding drivers with factory-installed emergency braking systems with a ten percent discount–a logical move, given the cost of repairing ADAS systems safely.

It would be easy to blame the ICBC’s lackadaisical approach to reforms on the fact that it is a public organization–but that wouldn’t actually be fair to the other public insurers.

Manitoba has public system which provides significantly below-average prices to drivers–despite the truly shocking number of suicidal deer in the province.

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