ICBC rate hike a "very serious and grave concern", - Minister

Paterniano Del Favero
Luglio 25, 2017

The report points to a spike in the number of auto crashes and a jump in the cost of vehicle repairs and injury claims as some of the main reasons for growing financial pressure at the Crown corporation.

Accidents and claims costs have skyrocketed in recent years, and premium hikes have not kept pace with the increased costs, thanks to rate hike caps implemented by the Liberal government.

Instead, the government plans to charge bad drivers more as well as those with luxury vehicles while studying where else it can achieve efficiencies at the Crown corporation, said Attorney-General David Eby, the minister responsible for ICBC.

The Ernst & Young report, released Monday, says the average driver could pay up to $2,000 per year, as long as trends persist, the corporation still has to cover its costs through rates, and nothing is done to improve things.

"This report illustrates a situation that must have been apparent to the board and to the previous administration", Eby told reporters in downtown Vancouver.

Andrew Wilkinson, whose appointment as attorney general in the last days of the Liberal government was short-lived, crashed Eby's press conference and later told reporters that the NDP seems to have no plan. The government has also sheltered B.C. drivers for years from necessary rate increases, it says. For example, the former Liberal government missed such basic ones, such as ensuring good drivers are rewarded while bad drivers pay more.

Eby dismissed some of the report's proposals as non-starters, including photo radar and no-fault insurance, which directs a person involved in an incident to deal with their own insurance company regardless of who is at fault.

In fact, it's such a no-brainer that it's a model ICBC has used for years. The alarming figures presented in this report, a potential rate increase of 30 per cent, is a situation that can not be allowed to take place. The report suggests B.C. could lower claims costs by placing caps on awards for pain and suffering in minor injury claims.

"And so we now have a government that's telling us what they're not going to do and has completely failed to tell us what they are going to do on a subject that affects millions of motorists in British Columbia". Mr. Eby said those options are on the table except for photo radar, which created a wide public backlash when the New Democrats brought it in the previous time they were in power. The cost of repairing vehicles has also soared, as cars become more high-tech.

"They're now in government and now the hard work of government begins where they have to make tough decisions", he said.

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