Accident rate is up, and injury claims, especially older claims that started out as minor. (Black Press files)

ICBC projects deficit of $1.3 billion this year

‘Massive growth’ in injury claims costs piling up

B.C.’s public auto insurer has confirmed its losses are accelerating, with annual injury claims rising from $3 billion in 2014 to almost $4 billion today.

And in addition to a continued increase in vehicle accidents, the pressure is coming from minor injuries that have developed into big demands for compensation by personal injury lawyers.

“In recent months, we have seen the emergence of many more, large and extremely costly claims, which run into hundreds of thousands of dollars each,” ICBC said in a statement posted on its website Sunday. “In particular, older claims – some dating as far back as 2010 – which were initially presented as minor injury claims have since emerged as more complex and costly, large loss claims.

“Over the past 12 months, we have experienced an unprecedented 80 per cent growth in large loss claims which have an average cost of $450,000 per claim.”

The projected loss comes despite a 6.4 per cent basic insurance rate increase approved this month by the B.C. Utilities Commission. That translates to an average increase of $4.75 per month for personal basic insurance coverage, which took effect Nov. 1 on an interim basis.

Attorney General David Eby released a consultant’s report after the NDP government took office in July, projecting ICBC rates could rise 30 per cent by 2019 if changes aren’t made. At the time, Eby rejected the idea of “no-fault” insurance that would cap the awards available for soft tissue and other minor injuries.

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates have traded blame for the soaring increase in claim costs, which has been a cause of alarm for ICBC executives since 2013.

Just Posted

Jerri & the Cheap Dates take the stage at Nest & Nectar

Catch their live performance Mar. 23 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Princeton man charged in thefts from volunteer fire hall

A Princeton man appeared in circuit court here February 14, facing charges… Continue reading

Find your freaky side at Army of Sass’ SIDESHOW

The 360 degree circus-themed production comes to Penticton Lakeside Resort Mar. 23

Okanagan weather watch: Snow on the way

Flurries have been predicted for most of the Okanagan Valley today

VIDEO: A glimpse into OneWorld Penticton

Hear from performers and presenters at the annual multicultural festival

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

One of B.C.’s newest citizens reflects on the value of immigration

“People who come by choice to another country will do everything to contribute to that country.”

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Team BC sitting 4th at Canada Winter Games after 1st week

Team BC ringette featuring Kelowna’s Brooklyn Keller finished 4th

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Salmon Arm Silverbacks fall to Penticton Vees in third-period upset

Early lead disintegrates into 5-2 finish for Penticton

Most Read