Victoria Orders ICBC Rate Review
Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government has directed ICBC’s board to commission a comprehensive independent third-party review to keep “insurance rates affordable” and to “align future rate increases with inflation.”
“Our goal with this review is to put British Columbia first and for ICBC to manage its cost pressures, ensuring affordable rates for the long term,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone today.
“Government has also announced that in the interim, and for the coming year’s rate increase, the Province has issued a directive to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to approve a Basic rate increase of a maximum of 4.9 per cent or less by Jan. 16, 2017,” reads a government news release.
The release also noted the independent review comes “at a time when the frequency, complexity and severity of bodily injury claims, in addition to higher vehicle repair costs, is putting pressure on rates.”
For instance, the government says from mid-2015 to mid-2016, the number of vehicle damage claims increased by 11 per cent and the number of injury claims increased by 14 per cent.
“At the same time, the average cost of vehicle claims is increasing, rising 17 per cent between 2014 and 2015, as vehicles are becoming more expensive to repair, and injury claim costs are up 60 per cent between 2008 and 2015.”
“It’s my responsibility to listen to British Columbians,” said Stone during a teleconference. “When they tell me that cost increases are exceeding the cost of living, I take this seriously…For this reason I have ordered the board of directors to conduct a review that will result in recommendations.”
He also assured reporters that the review would not result in the recommended privatization of ICBC and that he is hoping for a successful review like the 2012 review of BC Ferries which resulted in capped fare increases to the rate of inflation.