Emergency crews respond to two-vehicle accident on Highway 10 in Surrey, July 31, 2019. (Black Press Media)

B.C. vehicle insurance remains Canada’s costliest, industry group says

ICBC monopoly needs competition, Insurance Bureau of Canada argues

Independent statistics show B.C. drivers will continue to pay the highest average insurance rates in Canada, next year and into the future, the Insurance Bureau of Canada says.

The private industry group cites the latest numbers from the General Insurance Statistical Agency, an average of $1,832 per year. Alberta comes in at $1,316, Saskatchewan at $1,235 and Ontario at $1,505.

“While many important changes are underway in B.C., none are expected to reduce the price most drivers are paying,” said Aaron Sutherland, the bureau’s Pacific region vice president. “With ICBC stating that it will need price increases to raise over $1 billion in the years ahead, now more than ever, the market must be opened to competition and choice to improve the affordability of auto insurance for drivers.”

RELATED: Budget includes bailouts for ICBC, B.C. Hydro

RELATED: ICBC renewals get more complicated this year

The average is calculated by comparing the total premiums collected from passenger vehicles in each province, and dividing by the number of vehicles insured.

ICBC is calculating rates for next year based on a new system that shifts costs to the highest-risk drivers.

Caps on “pain and suffering” payouts and an administrative tribunal for minor injury claims were put into effect in April as accident and legal costs soared in B.C.

ICBC retains a monopoly on basic liability insurance and competes for optional coverage for collision, glass and other coverage. The Crown corporation also operates driver licensing in B.C. and funds police enforcement and safety improvement projects, costs ICBC says are reflected in higher rates.

The Insurance Bureau retained accounting firm MNP to compare B.C. and Alberta vehicle insurance, with this year’s ICBC changes in effect. Their study found that insurance coverage and payouts are similar in the two provinces, except for rates.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

15-year-old boy drowns after midnight jump into Okangan Lake

The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating the drowning.

Letter: LGBTQ2 are part of ‘our’ Canada

“It is all of our taxes that pay for all of us.”

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

Retrieved body from Okanagan Lake identified as missing kayaker

Zygmunt Janiewicz had been missing since May and was recovered Aug. 10

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Letter: Revive election voting change to curb abuse of power

“Please vote and vote so we don’t have a repeat of this.”

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Most Read