Accident rates and ICBC injury payouts have risen sharply in B.C. in recent years. (Black Press files)

ICBC cash reserves fall below B.C. government requirements

Attorney General David Eby changes rules to allow rate increase to be considered

Rising crash claims and injury payouts have depleted the Insurance Corporation of B.C.’s cash reserves below the province’s standard, forcing the province to exempt the Crown corporation from the rules to allow reforms.

Attorney General David Eby said he eased the cash reserve regulations to allow ICBC to apply to the B.C. Utilities Commission for a rate increase it is already collecting, and possibly additional increases.

“The rule in B.C. is that ICBC has to have 100 per cent match between the amount of money they have in the bank and the claims they are aware of,” Eby told reporters at the B.C. legislature Wednesday. “ICBC doesn’t have that. They have about 54 cents in the bank for every dollar of claim that they’re aware of. So we had to change the rule in order to appear in front of the utilities commission to lay out the changes that we’re doing with ICBC to get it back on track financially.”

The province announced earlier this month cost-cutting changes that include a $5,500 limit on payouts for pain and suffering claims, to take effect in April 2019.

In 2013, ICBC had $1.45 in the bank for every dollar of claims, but the situation has eroded due to an 80 per cent increase in injury claim costs in the past seven years.

RELATED: ICBC to cap injury payouts to stem losses

Eby intends to present legislation this spring to limit minor injury payouts, and also double the maximum benefit for serious injury claims from $150,000 to $300,000. With cost-containing measures a year away, it is not yet clear how much insurance rates will have to rise as ICBC estimates a $1.3 billion shortfall for the current year.

A 6.4 per cent increase in basic insurance took effect on an interim basis in November, with an additional increase to optional insurance resulting in an eight per cent jump in cost for vehicle owners who get both types of coverage from ICBC.

A consultant’s report released last summer suggested that ICBC rates could go up 30 per cent by 2019 if changes are not made.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UBC Okanagan nursing students host gala fundraising event

Medical clinics in Ghana and Zambia will benefit from the gala

UBC Okanagan welcomes alumni and the community to campus event

Homecoming is a chance to rediscover and reconnect with the campus

Kelowna still waiting for first legal pot shop application

Despite anticipating ‘hundreds’ of applications, the city has yet to receive one

Kelowna RCMP look for alleged theft suspect

The alleged theft of a wallet was committed inside a Kelowna business

RCMP look to reunite cash with owner

The owner accidentally donated the money to the Salvation Army in a piece of clothing

Sunny skies for the week ahead

Environment Canada is forecasting clear skies for the Okanagan and Shuswap

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

South Okanagan man alleged to have exposed genitals to children

Penticton RCMP said incident occurred at the Kiwanis Park

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read