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ICBC proposes new premiums plan

By CRM Staff

Toronto, Ontario – August 10, 2018 – The British Columbia provincial government has announced that they want drivers to pay ICBC premiums that project more of an accurate risk they represent on the road.

The new proposed insurance premiums would be taking in effect next September.

The current insurance structure of ICBC’s is 30 years old and revolves around insuring the vehicles rather than the drivers. This ultimately gives incentives to bad drivers.

With over 35,000 British Columbian drivers complaining about the insurance policies, a new one came to the table as a proposal.

This proposal is going to determine drivers premiums through three factors. One being the experience of the driver and how many crashes they have experienced. The second factor would be where the driver lives and how they use their vehicle. Finally, the last factor would be the additional premium considerations.

David Eby, attorney general, said the submission ICBC is making to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) will include revenue-neutral proposals aimed at levelling that playing field.

“We want to modernize ICBC so that British Columbians pay according to their crash history, driving records and level of risk, and take responsibility for their driving habits. It’s only fair,” said Eby.

“Right now, the system is broken. A driver with no crashes could be paying the same premium as a driver with three at-fault crashes in a year. We heard from British Columbians that their insurance rates need to be fair and we agree — good drivers shouldn’t have to continue paying more to cover the costs for those who cause crashes or present a higher risk on our roads.”

Some of the key proposed changes from the public were things such as, moving to a driver-based model, so that at-fault crashes are tied to the driver and not the person who owns the vehicle; increasing insurance discounts for drivers with up to 40 years of driving experience (up from the current limit of nine years); and, new discounts available for vehicles with original, manufacturer-installed automatic emergency braking technology and for vehicles driven less than 5,000 kilometres per year.

These proposed changes would benegit two-thirds of drivers if it is approved by BCUC. 

“The changes we are proposing are the most significant updates to how ICBC’s basic insurance premiums are set in more than 30 years,” said Joy MacPhail, ICBC’s board chair.

“When British Columbians were asked for their feedback on this topic, one message came out loud and clear — lower-risk drivers shouldn’t be paying the same as some high-risk drivers. We wholeheartedly agree,” he said.

Some other suggestions were, to set basic insurance discounts for inexperienced drivers that reflect their risk; at-fault crashes will have a larger impact on the premium a driver pays; rate classes and territories data will be updated for the first time in more than 10 years to reflect significant changes in traffic density, population growth and changes in the urban infrastructure; and, an increase to the Driver Penalty Point (DPP) and Driver Risk Premium (DRP) programs of 20% in fall 2018 and 20% in fall 2019, as previously announced.

As part of these changes, ICBC is proposing a “transition cap” that limits how much the premium can change annually based on a customer’s driving record and at-fault crash history. Most customers will fully transition to their new basic premium within three years under the proposed changes.

The B.C. government has directed ICBC to file an application with the BCUC by Aug. 15, 2018.

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