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.

BC legislatureICBC

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

Just Posted

Nainamo grew faster than Greater Victoria in 2019

Other Vancouver Island communities also recorded growth, but at lower rates

Sidney faces rising capital costs around RCMP building

Town staff expect RCMP model to remain ‘cost effective’ option

Sidney company tastes sweet success with sugar kelp

Cascadia Seaweed is experiencing rapid growth after launching six months ago

Westin Bear Mountain invests $2 million to renovate newly-named spa

‘Amatista Spa’ has yet to announce official opening date

VIDEO: Kawhi Leonard wins first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP award

Leonard scored 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers to lead Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citzensip, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Most Read