Drivers with convictions to pay more for optional insurance starting in September: ICBC
ICBC has announced additional changes to its rate formula that mean those with driving convictions could pay more for optional insurance products.
Starting Sept. 1, those with serious or frequent driving convictions committed from June 10 onward could start having to pay more for protections like collision coverage and extended third-party liability.
"Using driving convictions to price optional insurance is long overdue," said the public auto insurer's president and CEO, Nicolas Jimenez. "This will make sure that higher-risk drivers are held accountable for their decisions by providing a financial incentive for them to improve their driving."
In a statement, ICBC said it ultimately intends to look back at all convictions within a three-year period.
Those with a serious driving conviction such as impaired driving, distracted driving or excessive speeding will see the optional insurance portion of their premium go up after a single offence.
In the case of minor convictions such as failing to stop, failing to yield or speeding, it will require two or more offences before a driver is penalized.
"Today, about 10 per cent of ICBC's optional customers have a record of multiple or serious driving convictions, yet pay the same optional premium as a customer with no convictions – this isn't right," Attorney General David Eby said in the release.
"Many auto insurers – and certainly private insurers – already use driving convictions as a factor in pricing their premiums, so I applaud ICBC's move to ensure those who are higher-risk are no longer being subsidized by the overwhelming majority of lower-risk drivers."
According to ICBC's statistics, a driver with two minor convictions or one serious conviction over a three-year period is about 20 per cent more likely to cause a collision.
The changes announced Thursday also seek to reward those less likely to be involved in a crash by providing a 10-per-cent discount on third-party extension coverage to those with vehicles equipped with autonomous emergency braking technology.
ICBC will give the same discount to those who drive fewer than 5,000 kilometres a year.
These changes to optional insurance rates are part of a large-scale shift to a driver-based model that aims to tie premiums to the operator of a vehicle—not necessarily its owner.
Starting in September, those with driving convictions could see their optional insurance premiums go up.
Extended discounts will be made available for drivers with up to 40 years of experience, up from the current limit of nine years.
Rates for inexperienced drivers will also be adjusted to reflect the greater risk statistically pose on the road, and at-fault accidents will have a larger impact on a driver's premiums than they currently do.