ICBC rates to increase 6.4 per cent for basic coverage

With basic and optional ICBC coverage, average driver pays $130 more by next year

  • Sep. 5, 2017 1:30 p.m.

Commuters will see a 6.4 per cent increase to their basic vehicle insurance rates this year, with optional coverage rates increasing up to 9.6 per cent to stem record losses at the Insurance Corporation of B.C.

The basic rate increase takes effect in November and translates to $57 a year more for the average B.C. driver on basic insurance. For drivers who also have ICBC’s optional insurance coverage, a series of quarterly increases in those rates mean the average driver will be paying $130 a year more by next year.

Drivers with at-fault crashes will also face steeper rate increases than are currently assessed.

Attorney General David Eby announced the increases Tuesday, along with what he called “drastic action” to fix financial problems brought about by the previous government’s mismanagement of ICBC. The B.C. Liberals’ pre-election budget projected a $25 million loss for ICBC this year and it now is projected to be 14 times as high, Eby told a news conference in Vancouver.

“The insurer that we inherited has the greatest loss in its history, and has been raided of capital” to the tune of $1 billion that should have been left for investment income in the Crown corporation, Eby said. ICBC recorded a loss of $500 million last year.

B.C. Liberal critic Andrew Wilkinson said the problem today is a surge in accidents and claims that led to a $2.4 billion being paid out in 2015 alone. Some of the actions Eby announced are contained in a review commissioned by the B.C. Liberal government, he said.

”British Columbia has the toughest drunk driving laws, increased penalties for distracted driving, has doubled premiums on high-end luxury vehicles, shrunk the ICBC executive team and transferred money from optional insurance to keep the basic insurance costs low,” Wilkinson said.

Eby announced a series of measures to stem accidents and soaring vehicle and injury claim costs, including an increase in operating hours for red light cameras. Currently running six hours a day at high-crash intersections, the cameras will go to 12 and then 24-hour operation as monitoring staff are added.

Another system being studied is the use of motion sensors to disable mobile phones for people with a history of using them while driving. A cap on soft tissue injury claims is also being studied, but Eby reiterated that drivers will not lose their right to sue ICBC via a no-fault insurance scheme that sets payouts for injury claims.

Eby rejected the idea of privatizing ICBC or opening up competition for basic insurance. Ontario has an all-private system and drivers there pay the highest insurance premiums in the country, he said.

Just Posted

Old timbers grace new Timmy’s

The newest Tim Hortons just outside of Oliver was officially opened Saturday

Penticton Bantam Elks hockey win league title

The Penticton bantam Rec 1 BPO Elks team won the South Central Bantam Recreation Championship

Strong showing for local gymnasts

Local competitors do well in provincials

Okanagan-Similkameen region’s natural beauty subject of photo contest

The South Okanagan Naturalists’ Club invites regional amateur photographers to submit their photos

Penticton Vees erase two-goal deficit to defeat Trail

The Vees take Game 1 of the second round of the BCHL playoffs

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Most Read