ICBC seeks public input on insurance rate formula
Published Monday, March 5, 2018 1:25PM PST
The province's auto insurer is asking British Columbians for their input on how to change the insurance rate system to make drivers more accountable.
"Car insurance rates in our province aren't fair," Attorney General David Eby said in a YouTube video about the public engagement project.
"Low-risk drivers with perfect records are paying more than they should. Meanwhile, high-risk drivers who are driving costs up for everyone aren't paying enough. We want to fix this problem."
The Insurance Corporation of B.C. is looking at how it can use claims and driver experience to determine insurance premiums. ICBC is proposing steeper discounts for those who are at a lower risk of causing an accident and wants to adjust basic rates based on driver location.
"Low-risk drivers will be rewarded by paying less and high-risk drivers will help offset the cost they're increasing by paying more," Eby said.
Starting Monday, British Columbians will have until April 5 to complete an online questionnaire about proposed changes to the auto insurer's rating system, which hasn’t been updated in a decade. Feedback can also be submitted via email or mail.
Under the current pricing model, all drivers face the same basic premium minus a discount that's based largely on their driving record and experience.
A driver with 20 years of experience and no at-fault claims, for instance, would be eligible for the maximum discount of 43 per cent and pay around $1,100 a year for basic insurance.
The opposite is also true: drivers who have been involved in at-fault accidents can face up to 205 per cent in surcharges on top of the basic premium.
On March 1, the province introduced stiffer penalties for distracted drivers under ICBC's Driver Risk Premium Program.
Those caught using an electronic device while driving twice in three years could pay as much as $2,000 in penalties on top of their annual insurance premium.
The changes come as ICBC tries to extinguish what Eby has called a "financial dumpster fire" that's expected to cost the Crown corporation $1.3 billion by the end of Q4.
Last month, the province announced several changes it says could save the insurer $1 billion a year.
These include a $5,500 cap on pain and suffering payouts for minor injury claims that will take effect in April 2019.
Shortly after being sworn in last summer, the Premier John Horgan’s NDP announced a 6.4 per cent hike to basic insurance premiums.
That amounts to an extra $57 per year for the average driver with basic coverage and $130 a year for those using blended coverage.
With files from CTV Vancouver Bhinder Sajan