It’s time to end ICBC monopoly

The latest proposal from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia is another clear indication that the Crown corporation is reaching the end of the road in its ability to properly serve the province’s motorists.

ICBC announced this week that it has notified the BC Utilities Commission that it plans to apply for a rate hike.

“What’s happened really is the economy has rebounded a lot faster than most people have expected. That’s put more cars on the road.” ICBC spokesman Mark Jan Vrem told the media. He also pointed to an increase in bodily-injury claims as a result of wet weather.

It’s reassuring to note that after a mere three-plus decades in operation, ICBC has come to the realization that it rains a bit in Vancouver.

And while most, if not all, businesses would celebrate an economic rebound and additional customers, ICBC apparently sees it as a negative. However, that stance gives rise to a very simple solution: If ICBC is troubled by an increase in drivers, perhaps the time has come to end the corporation’s monopoly on basic insurance coverage.

The latest news comes less than two months after Christy Clark’s Liberal government shot down ICBC’s proposal to increase insurance rates for drivers who receive as little as a single speeding ticket.

While those measures seemed excessive, they were imminently more fair than the proposal that will be put before the BCUC. Because rain or shine, on roads crowded or deserted, drivers with spotless records are less likely to be the cause on an accident.

The concept seems simple enough, but it’s one that’s apparently lost on ICBC. While the corporation has steadily increased rates on drivers found at fault in a collision, this latest proposed hike will take safe drivers along for the ride.

The time has come to see if private companies can provide the service at a better value to the province’s drivers.

— Penticton Western News


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