New changes on the horizon for B.C.’s insurance laws.
By CRM Staff
Vancouver, B.C. -- February 7, 2018 -- The new NDP government in B.C. has come out in support of an Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) report on resolving the province's insurance crisis by opening up the door for private insurers to compete. The government has said it will move towards a no-fault model aimed at reducing legal costs and put caps on the awards for minor injuries resulting from accidents.
For collision repair shops this news may mean dealing with more private insurers – who will, in all likelihood, pay a lot more attention to the bottom line than the notoriously inattentive Insurance Company of British Columbia (ICBC). On the bright side, by making cost reductions that do not target repair businesses, it seems that the government has moved away from its position last week – that collision shop prices were inflating faster than insurers because of unscrupulous owners.
"A minor injury cap has been used effectively in other Canadian provinces to help control costs and limit the rate pressures facing drivers," said Aaron Sutherland, vice president, IBC Pacific. "But caps alone will not reduce rates in B.C. Opening ICBC to competition and allowing Canada's private insurers to bring choice to the market would bring significant savings to B.C. drivers, and must be part of any long-term solution to the challenges in B.C.'s auto insurance system.”
Sutherland added, "An MNP report released last week showed that opening ICBC to competition would save B.C. drivers up to $325 every year. Drivers pay more for their auto insurance in B.C. than anywhere else in Canada. The experience and innovative tools Canada's private insurers have brought to other Canadian provinces can help improve the affordability of auto insurance in B.C."
This announcement comes shortly after B.C. Attorney General David Eby referred to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia’s (ICBC) financial standing as a “dumpster fire” and gave statements detailing the significant increase in legal costs in B.C.'s auto insurance system. B.C. is the last province to introduce measures to limit awards for soft-tissue injuries. Its accident benefits have not been increased since 1991, limiting the ability of injured parties to access the care they need.
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