ICBC deals with hundreds of accident claims each week, with injuries and repair costs rising. (Black Press Media)

ICBC insurance renewals get more complicated this year

Crash history, driver risk prompt more reporting requirements

B.C. vehicle owners are beginning to be notified of insurance changes taking effect this fall, with extra information and in some cases extra fees required to renew.

The changes are part of an effort to control ballooning claim costs and deficits at the Insurance Corp. of B.C., by shifting costs away from vehicle owners and onto high-risk drivers. At-fault accident claims after June 10 are being calculated to set the new optional insurance rates that take effect with renewals from Sept. 1 forward.

For renewals after Sept. 1, vehicle owners are asked to list secondary drivers who are expected to use the vehicle, with their driver’s licence number and date of birth. An up-front charge for unlisted additional drivers was dropped after negative feedback from customers, and now unlisted extra drivers will cost the principal driver $50 per year only if they cause a crash while using the car.

Learner drivers must be listed for each vehicle, and a learner premium of between $130 and $230 per year applies, depending on the region. Urban areas generally have higher accident rates and regional rates for all drivers are adjusted to reflect the risk.

Owners who drive a vehicle fewer than 5,000 km a year should take a picture of their odometer reading when they renew insurance. If they remain below 5,000 km in the coming year, they will be eligible for a discount.

RELATED: NDP defends speed cameras at 35 intersections

RELATED: Province starts testing intersection speed cameras

Driver infractions have always been a factor in insurance rates, with penalty points incurred, but the new rules add to that. If there are two minor infractions such as speeding or running a stop sign during a record scan period of up to three years, the optional insurance premium increases. Any serious infraction, including impaired driving, excessive speeding or distracted driving, also triggers an optional insurance rate increase.

ICBC estimates that when all of its risk adjustments are in place, they will reduce premiums for about three quarters of drivers. The existing system spread costs across all drivers, leaving some with recent at-fault crashes paying the same as those with crash-free driving records.

When additional drivers are listed for a vehicle, the highest-risk driving record is used to calculate 25 per cent of the basic insurance premium, with the principal driver’s record used for the rest.

Registered owners will still be on the hook for speeding tickets that will soon be issued by 35 cameras at high-crash intersections in B.C. urban areas. The cameras have been upgraded to operate 24 hours a day and some equipped to issue speeding tickets when a vehicle exceeds an undisclosed margin above the speed limit is exceeded. ICBC is coping with more than 900 accidents per day, the majority of them at intersections.

The speed cameras are being activated this summer at major intersections in Kelowna, Abbotsford, Nanaimo and various locations in Metro Vancouver. There is a total of 140 intersection cameras in the province, with most still issuing tickets by mail only when a vehicle runs a red light.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Unplug and Play Literacy Week returns in late January

The event sponsored by Interior Savings encourages everyone young and old to unplug from screentime

Kelowna’s Tess Critchlow gears up for World Cup at Big White

Critchlow is a professional snowboarder competing for Team Canada in the boardercross competition

Rockets stunned in 7-0 loss to Portland

Portland’s goaltender Dante Gianuzzi was named the game’s first star with a 17-save shutout

Kelowna secondary basketballer nominated for Canada-wide All Canadian Games

KSS’s Rylee Semeniuk is one of 152 players nominated

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Update: Highway reopens after crash west of Revelstoke

Drive BC also reported a vehicle incident 10 km east of Golden.

Most Read