Emergency crews respond to two-vehicle accident on Highway 10 in Surrey, July 31, 2019. (Black Press Media)

B.C. vehicle insurance remains Canada’s costliest, industry group says

ICBC monopoly needs competition, Insurance Bureau of Canada argues

Independent statistics show B.C. drivers will continue to pay the highest average insurance rates in Canada, next year and into the future, the Insurance Bureau of Canada says.

The private industry group cites the latest numbers from the General Insurance Statistical Agency, an average of $1,832 per year. Alberta comes in at $1,316, Saskatchewan at $1,235 and Ontario at $1,505.

“While many important changes are underway in B.C., none are expected to reduce the price most drivers are paying,” said Aaron Sutherland, the bureau’s Pacific region vice president. “With ICBC stating that it will need price increases to raise over $1 billion in the years ahead, now more than ever, the market must be opened to competition and choice to improve the affordability of auto insurance for drivers.”

RELATED: Budget includes bailouts for ICBC, B.C. Hydro

RELATED: ICBC renewals get more complicated this year

The average is calculated by comparing the total premiums collected from passenger vehicles in each province, and dividing by the number of vehicles insured.

ICBC is calculating rates for next year based on a new system that shifts costs to the highest-risk drivers.

Caps on “pain and suffering” payouts and an administrative tribunal for minor injury claims were put into effect in April as accident and legal costs soared in B.C.

ICBC retains a monopoly on basic liability insurance and competes for optional coverage for collision, glass and other coverage. The Crown corporation also operates driver licensing in B.C. and funds police enforcement and safety improvement projects, costs ICBC says are reflected in higher rates.

The Insurance Bureau retained accounting firm MNP to compare B.C. and Alberta vehicle insurance, with this year’s ICBC changes in effect. Their study found that insurance coverage and payouts are similar in the two provinces, except for rates.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureICBC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Additional Penticton washrooms open in time for weekend

Washrooms at Riverside, Skaha Lake Park, Okanagan Lake Park, more, now open

First day back; attending elementary school amid COVID-19

“… Social connections are certainly important for kids,” said Carmi principal Dave Ritchie.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip appeals for living-donor kidney transplant

Okanagan Nation Alliance Grand Chief has chronic kidney disease

Column: Penticton Regional Hospital returning to ‘new normal’

If we’ve learned anything over the last few months, it’s how important good health is in our lives.

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

Vernon protesters take Black Lives Matter movement to park

A handful of demonstrators raised fists, signs in solidarity Friday

Police watchdog investigating Lake Country incident

A man was taken to hospital after the June 3 incident

Community backlash over Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Some members of Kelowna’s black community stated they don’t support Friday’s rally

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Bear strolls into Okangan homeowner’s living room

Conservation officers are searching for the bear, which entered a home in the Foothills area

Most Read