The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has posted net losses of $935 million in the first nine months of the fiscal year.
The public auto insurer is also projecting $1.3 billion in net losses by the end of the fiscal year.
In a news release, the insurer explained that the “sizable and significant loss” was driven by two factors – the sharp increase in collisions and the rising costs associated with such claims.
“The number of crashes occurring across B.C. is continuing to escalate year-after-year. As a result, the number of claims we are receiving is growing by thousands each year,” the corporation said.
The corporation noted that the cost of injury claims is close to $3 billion annually. It also said that the number of large loss claims (those with an average payout of $450,000) has spiked by 80% in the last 12 months. That spike is also causing a backlog of claims that need to be settled.
“This has particularly been the case with represented claims, which are taking even longer to settle. The longer a claim takes to settle, the more expensive it becomes,” the company said.
John Rice, co-chair of the Trial Lawyers Association of BC’s ICBC committee, told CBC News that he does not trust the numbers the insurer published. He accused the company of overblowing details.
“How can an insurance company that’s being properly managed go from saying three months ago that basic insurance would suffer a $200-million loss to now apparently $1.3 billion?” Rice said.
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