Accident rates and ICBC injury payouts have risen sharply in B.C. in recent years. (Black Press files)

ICBC cash reserves fall below B.C. government requirements

Attorney General David Eby changes rules to allow rate increase to be considered

Rising crash claims and injury payouts have depleted the Insurance Corporation of B.C.’s cash reserves below the province’s standard, forcing the province to exempt the Crown corporation from the rules to allow reforms.

Attorney General David Eby said he eased the cash reserve regulations to allow ICBC to apply to the B.C. Utilities Commission for a rate increase it is already collecting, and possibly additional increases.

“The rule in B.C. is that ICBC has to have 100 per cent match between the amount of money they have in the bank and the claims they are aware of,” Eby told reporters at the B.C. legislature Wednesday. “ICBC doesn’t have that. They have about 54 cents in the bank for every dollar of claim that they’re aware of. So we had to change the rule in order to appear in front of the utilities commission to lay out the changes that we’re doing with ICBC to get it back on track financially.”

The province announced earlier this month cost-cutting changes that include a $5,500 limit on payouts for pain and suffering claims, to take effect in April 2019.

In 2013, ICBC had $1.45 in the bank for every dollar of claims, but the situation has eroded due to an 80 per cent increase in injury claim costs in the past seven years.

RELATED: ICBC to cap injury payouts to stem losses

Eby intends to present legislation this spring to limit minor injury payouts, and also double the maximum benefit for serious injury claims from $150,000 to $300,000. With cost-containing measures a year away, it is not yet clear how much insurance rates will have to rise as ICBC estimates a $1.3 billion shortfall for the current year.

A 6.4 per cent increase in basic insurance took effect on an interim basis in November, with an additional increase to optional insurance resulting in an eight per cent jump in cost for vehicle owners who get both types of coverage from ICBC.

A consultant’s report released last summer suggested that ICBC rates could go up 30 per cent by 2019 if changes are not made.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Mysterious East Sooke ‘Grouse Nest’ up for sale

Luxurious East Sooke property on selling block for $6.98 million

Crash snarls traffic on Trans Canada at Tillicum

One of the vehicles involved has markings of a company supplying traffic control personnel

Saanich to study ‘mega mansions’ on farm land

District staff will study the siting of homes on agricultural lots

Sooke fastball team to compete at B.C. finals

U19 provincial tournament takes place July 13 to 15

VIDEO: B.C.’s ‘unicycle cowboy’ aspires to be rancher one day

Burklan Johnson has only ridden a horse once, but this unicyclist has big plans to become a cowboy.

A look at what Canadian teams might do in the 1st round of the NHL draft

Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Edmonton in top 10 of upcoming draft

WEB POLL: Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?

Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?… Continue reading

Seasonal transit changes take effect July 2

Improved service to popular summer destinations

Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

Western lowland gorilla, 46, died in her sleep in California

California court hears tales of shackled, starved children

David and Louise Turpin have pleaded not guilty to torture, child abuse of their 12 children

Trudeau in nothern B.C. to announce pledge to protect oceans

Prime minister announces conservation agreement with 14 First Nations

FIFA World Cup weekly roundup

Host nation Russia remains unbeaten in Group A, tied with Uruguay

Scams separating Saanich residents from their money

Saanich Police warn residents of constantly evolving scams

Most Read