A Burnaby woman was surprised to find that an insurance quote for her car ended up costing four times the value of the vehicle and 10 times more than the previous rate she had been paying.
Lindsay McArthur was changing her auto insurance policy by adding her partner, Chris Hodge, as the principal driver, when the Insurance Corporation of British Colombia (ICBC) gave her a quote of nearly $21,000 a year for her 2008 Honda Fit. Prior to the quote, she had been paying only $2,000 a year.
McArthur claimed that while he is new to BC, Hodge had a 25-year clean driving record. She also said that her partner even has the documentation to prove it.
Although her partner has a spotless driving record, it was McArthur that had some previous claims. Under the current premium pricing system, her claims history would hurt Hodge’s, even if he was listed as the principal driver of the vehicle.
“They’re deciding a future insurance on a fictional history,” McArthur commented.
CTV News approached ICBC regarding the sudden surge in McArthur’s quote, and the insurer responded, saying that it would resolve the concern.
“We’ve identified it and this problem will no longer be an issue, come September,” ICBC spokesperson Joanna Linsangan said in a statement, referring to a pending new pricing system that changes the way insurance pricing is determined when multiple drivers are listed for a single vehicle.
All drivers of a vehicle in BC will need to be listed by September under the new pricing system. Drivers who occasionally lend their vehicle to someone not on their list will also have to secure so-called “unlisted driver protection.”
For the unlisted driver protection insurance, 75% of the premium will be based on the principal driver’s history. As part of the rules, new residents (like Hodge) only have to present how long they have had a driver’s license without having to reveal driving histories.
“It is an incredible challenge for some jurisdictions to actually get your abstract, so we want to do away with that,” remarked Linsangan.
ICBC has suggested to McArthur that she could still keep her existing policy, and that her partner could still use her car; the new pricing system will be up and running by the time her policy is up for renewal.