IBC shares 'uncomfortable' facts about ICBC

IBC shares 'uncomfortable' facts about ICBC | Insurance Business

IBC shares

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is continuing its campaign to open British Columbia’s auto insurance market to competition, calling out the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) for its alleged shortcomings with a new critical report.

A new release from the IBC enumerates “Top 10 Uncomfortable ICBC Facts,” with the goal of informing drivers in BC of how much more they are paying compared to other provinces and territories. The most noteworthy facts include:

  • ICBC levies an additional $130-$230 per policy if a Learner Driver uses the insured’s vehicle; no other insurer in Canada charges these fees.
  • It takes 40 years of clean driving to reach ICBC full discount; in other provinces, it only takes 10.
  • ICBC only offers a free claim after 20 years of experience and 10 years of accident-free driving; in other provinces, it takes as little as six years.
  • ICBC still does not allow drivers to purchase or renew their auto policy online.
  • ICBC does not provide insurance discounts for owners of multiple vehicles; in other provinces, it is possible to purchase discounted insurance bundles.

The highly critical piece comes after the ICBC rolled out its new calculation for basic auto insurance premiums earlier this month.

Read more: ICBC’s new premium rates take effect

“More and more drivers are discovering the uncomfortable truth that, under ICBC’s new rate design, buying auto insurance in BC is growing ever more complex and costly,” said IBC Pacific vice-president Aaron Sutherland.

Sutherland believes the only way auto insurance can be affordable in BC is to bring in more insurer competition.

“The pain BC drivers face with ICBC’s monopoly isn’t going away. Now, more than ever, the market must be opened to competition and choice to improve the affordability of auto insurance.”

While the ICBC has revamped its insurance pricing to better account for factors such as driving experience and crash history, Sutherland believes the decision is making all of BC’s drivers pay more.

“Moving to a risk-based pricing model makes sense, as high-risk drivers should pay for the risk they present on our roadways,” he remarked. “However, in the process, ICBC has introduced new fees and costs that no other drivers in the country face, making auto insurance in BC even more expensive than it already was.”