Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Bad drivers to pay more

Bad drivers to pay more

ICBC will apply for further changes from the BC Utilities Commission, with the expected changes to take place in September 2019.

Insurance premiums will also factor in where you live and the traffic density, population growth and changes in the urban infrastructure.

Attorney General David Eby announced that these changes will modernize the way premiums are calculated; however, the changes must be approved by the BCUC.

Mr. Eby said under the current model, a person could have up to three crashes in a single year and still pay the same basic premium as a driver who is crash-free. Consequently, the B.C. government has directed the insurance provider to file an application by August 15th.

"From now on, British Columbians can have more confidence that if they drive safely and don't cause crashes, the rates they have to pay will much more closely represent the risk they actually represent on the road", he said.

An increase to the Driver Penalty Point (DPP) and Driver Risk Premium (DRP) programs of 20% in fall 2018 and 20% in fall 2019, as previously announced. In a statement sent out Thursday afternoon, the government said it received feedback from nearly 35,000 British Columbians. It said 17 per cent of drivers would see an increase of more than $100.

ICBC could not say how many drivers have had three crashes in a single year. More than 82 per cent of its 35,000 respondents said they felt risky drivers should pay more.

The NDP countered with a news release saying the Liberals raided $1.2 billion from ICBC while they were in power in order to pad their own annual budgets.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said it agrees in principle with the revamping, but remains skeptical about the province's promise to ease the burden on good drivers.

Instead, it will rebalance individual driver premiums and reset the way rates are determined.

Sims said the federation still believes that the only way fully ensure British Columbians are paying a fair price for auto insurance is to end ICBC's monopoly. It said 13 per cent of drivers would see a reduction between $50 and $100, and 15 per cent would see a reduction of more than $100.

Major changes are being proposed for ICBC as the crown corporation, once described by the Attorney General as a "dumpster fire", struggles to get out of the red.

Sims, however, would not answer questions about how much money, if any, the CTF receives from private insurance companies that could have an interest in auto insurance being de-centralized in the province.

Wilkinson said the government should take a look at what's working in those other jurisdictions and implement those best practices to help lower insurance rates and provide better, fairer services to British Columbians.

Several changes had already been introduced prior to Thursday's announcement, including legislation that would limit pain and suffering payouts on personal injury claims to $5,500.

Like this: