UPDATED: ICBC fights back against claims that it’s ‘ripping off’ B.C. RV drivers

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

The province’s auto insurer is fighting back over accusations from a taxpayers’ group that it’s “ripping off” people who drive RVs.

Kris Sims, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said in a release on Thursday drivers in B.C. pay $1,000 more to insure a recreational vehicle than their Albertan peers.

Calling ICBC a “bloated government monopoly,” Sims provided a copy of insurance estimates for the same RV in both provinces, showing the cost in Alberta at $413, compared to the B.C. sum of $1,434.

But an ICBC official said it’s not a fair comparison because the corporation provided “better value” to customers than private insurers in Alberta.

“What’s frustrating is that they don’t provide context to their numbers,” said spokesperson Joanna Linsangan.

“The quote they provide for B.C. seems like for a person who chose to purchase a more comprehensive insurance package, whereas the Alberta one could very well be for someone who chose the bare minimum.”

READ MORE: Crashes reach ‘all-time high’ across B.C.: ICBC

READ MORE: ICBC in ‘financial dumpster fire’: minister

“Most B.C. drivers already pay the highest gasoline prices in North America and they can’t even escape to the wilderness in their motorhomes without getting ripped off by ICBC,” said Sims.

The federation is urging the province to change ICBC into a co-op and open it up to competition.

Linsangan said ICBC was created because many people in B.C. were driving without insurance.

“A public insurance model that ensures all drivers have the most basic level of insurance protects anyone who is in a crash,” she said. “In other places, you can see as many as one in five cars driving uninsured. Here in B.C., it’s one per cent.”

She pointed to the ever-growing number of crashes in B.C. – which in 2017 hit a peak of 350,000 annually – as raising insurance premiums for drivers.

“Whether you have a public insurance system or a co-op, the fact of the matter is, crashes are going up in B.C., and crash rates have a direct impact in what people pay for their insurance.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

New Kelowna city councillor takes his seat

Loyal Wooldridge joins eight returning members of city council at first public meeting

Making jokes from Hollywood to Lake Country

Comedian Dino Archie will be performing Saturday night at the Creekside Theatre

Be a Santa to a Senior program hopes to brighten Okanagan Seniors’ holiday season

Participants can visit their local London Drugs to take fulfill wish lists

More affordable housing brought to Kelowna

The new 33-unit housing development will be for families

Find me my furever home

Meet Moon a 16-year-old senior gentleman at the Kelowna BC SPCA

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

South Okanagan man wielding an axe convicted of break and enter and assault of a police officer

Steve Joseph Godbout was convicted of several charges in Penticton provincial court

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Most Read