ICBC announces significant update to insurance premiums

The provincial government is set to share proposed changes to auto insurance in B.C. today.					CHAD HIPOLITO  THE CANADIAN PRESS

The provincial government is set to share proposed changes to auto insurance in B.C. today. CHAD HIPOLITO THE CANADIAN PRESS

The changes are meant to "modernize" how the Insurance Corporation of B.C. calculates insurance premiums.

ICBC's current rate structure is more than 30 years old. "When British Columbians were asked for their feedback on this topic, one message came out loud and clear, lower-risk drivers shouldn't be paying the same as some high-risk drivers".

Eby said changes announced on Thursday are expected to be revenue neutral, with around two-thirds of drivers seeing a decrease in the amount they pay, and one-third seeing an increase.

Customers would have to list all the drivers who may operate the vehicle, and the experience and crash history of each driver would be taken into account in the premium.

The corporation would consider at-fault crashes that happened over the past 10 years - up from three - to help determine a driver's premium.

The provincial government introduced the proposed changes on Thursday to modernize the system used by the Crown auto insurance corporation, which hasn't been updated in decades. Insurance rates for inexperienced drivers will also be adjusted to represent the greater risk they tend to pose.

Mr. Eby said under ICBC's proposal, less-experienced drivers - those who have been driving for less than 15 years - would see an increase in their premiums.

Discounts for vehicles with original, manufacturer-installed automatic braking technology and vehicles with less than 5,000 km use per year.

If they are approved by the BC Utilities Commission the new rates would come into effect in September of 2019. Fifteen per cent of drivers will see more than $100 in savings.

According to numbers obtained by CTV News through the Freedom of Information Act, those living in the Fraser Valley and eastern parts of Metro Vancouver are now costing the insurance provider more money in payouts per per capita than any other part of southern B.C.

Attorney General David Eby announced today that high-crash drivers, and those who live in urban areas with a high rate of crashes could soon be paying more for their auto insurance as the ICBC reform process continues.

"While we're happy to hear, on the surface, that good drivers will pay less and bad drivers will pay more, we want to see serious numbers here and we urge the province to open ICBC up to competition", she said.

Those in Langley, Maple Ridge and Abbotsford are costing ICBC at least $1,000 per person.

The objective of the changes is to make the system fairer - they won't necessarily affect the ICBC's projected losses of $1.3 billion in the last fiscal year, according to reports from The Canadian Press.

"British Columbians have told us they expect the premiums they pay to be fair", he said.

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