Emergency crews respond to two-vehicle accident on Highway 10 in Surrey, July 31, 2019. (Black Press Media)

B.C. vehicle insurance remains Canada’s costliest, industry group says

ICBC monopoly needs competition, Insurance Bureau of Canada argues

Independent statistics show B.C. drivers will continue to pay the highest average insurance rates in Canada, next year and into the future, the Insurance Bureau of Canada says.

The private industry group cites the latest numbers from the General Insurance Statistical Agency, an average of $1,832 per year. Alberta comes in at $1,316, Saskatchewan at $1,235 and Ontario at $1,505.

“While many important changes are underway in B.C., none are expected to reduce the price most drivers are paying,” said Aaron Sutherland, the bureau’s Pacific region vice president. “With ICBC stating that it will need price increases to raise over $1 billion in the years ahead, now more than ever, the market must be opened to competition and choice to improve the affordability of auto insurance for drivers.”

RELATED: Budget includes bailouts for ICBC, B.C. Hydro

RELATED: ICBC renewals get more complicated this year

The average is calculated by comparing the total premiums collected from passenger vehicles in each province, and dividing by the number of vehicles insured.

ICBC is calculating rates for next year based on a new system that shifts costs to the highest-risk drivers.

Caps on “pain and suffering” payouts and an administrative tribunal for minor injury claims were put into effect in April as accident and legal costs soared in B.C.

ICBC retains a monopoly on basic liability insurance and competes for optional coverage for collision, glass and other coverage. The Crown corporation also operates driver licensing in B.C. and funds police enforcement and safety improvement projects, costs ICBC says are reflected in higher rates.

The Insurance Bureau retained accounting firm MNP to compare B.C. and Alberta vehicle insurance, with this year’s ICBC changes in effect. Their study found that insurance coverage and payouts are similar in the two provinces, except for rates.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Options are key at Klyn Kitchens and Cabinets in downtown Chilliwack

Formerly based out of his home in Rosedale, Martin Klyn moved his cabinetry business to Alexander

How would crowded Fraser Valley hospitals deal with patient surge? Officials won’t say

Amid coronavirus case and crowding issues, health officials won’t say where more patients would go

Sasquatch Mountain Aussie Day celebration raises $800

Proceeds of bikini runs, toonie tosses and more go to wildfire victims

Chilliwack students get ready to fly to Ottawa for Canadian politics youth conference

High school students heading to Forum for Young Canadians, a humanities-based program for teens

From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: The man behind GW Graham’s name

Hands up GW Graham teachers and students. How many of you know who the school is named after?

VIDEO: Kenney wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Despite reports of decline, birds flocking to national parks in Canadian Rockies

Recent studies suggest overall bird population has slid by three billion since 1970

Former UN committee member defends stance on B.C.’s Coastal GasLink pipeline

First Nations LNG Alliance accused UN committee, human rights watchdog of not doing their research

Police release photo of suspect in theft of Indigenous regalia in Vancouver

A person stole nine pieces of Indigenous regalia, five drums, and traditional boots

Opioid crisis to blame for shorter life expectancy in B.C. men, says Stats Can

Opioid crisis held responsible for declining life expectancy

Earthquake on top of highway closure a wake up call for Island’s West Coast

“When someone says, ‘Be prepared for 72 hours,’ that means exactly that: be prepared.”

Newspapers, hockey cards discovered in Mission school’s forgotten time capsule

Capsule opened in front of students from West Heights Community School

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Most Read