Changes to ICBC auto insurance to be announced today

David Eby expected to announce changes to ICBC rates

"Those are really numbers that we need to take a good, hard look at because as of right now, today, B.C. drivers pay the highest auto insurance rates in all of Canada", said Kris Sims, the federation's B.C. director. That's going to be determined using current data, rather than the 10-year-old numbers the agency is now using.

Inexperienced and high-risk drivers would pay more for their vehicle insurance in British Columbia under proposed changes to modernize the province's Crown auto insurance corporation.

If approved by the BCUC, these changes will benefit an estimated two-thirds of ICBC's customers.

As part of these changes, ICBC is proposing a "transition cap" that limits how much the premium can change annually based on a customer's driving record and at-fault crash history.

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. A driver with no crashes could be paying the same premium as a driver with three at-fault crashes in a year.

Just moments ago, Attorney General David Eby, along with ICBC board chair Joy MacPhail, announced major proposed changes to how ICBC calculates insurance premiums. He said less-experienced drivers cause a disproportionate number of crashes and fatalities in B.C. and higher premiums better reflect their risks.

New discounts available for vehicles with original, manufacturer-installed automatic emergency braking technology and for vehicles driven less than 5,000 kilometres per year.

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Rate classes and territories data will be updated for the first time in more than 10 years to reflect significant changes in traffic density, population growth and changes in the urban infrastructure.

But Kris Sims, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, in a written statement said the provincial government needs to open ICBC up to competition.

The changes announced Thursday stem from an online survey conducted earlier this year asked B.C. residents what changes they'd like to see in the way rates are calculated.

Should the application be approved, changes would come into effect by September of 2019. It said 17 per cent of drivers would see an increase of more than $100. 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.

The proposed changes align with the feedback the government received from almost 35,000 British Columbians on how to make insurance fair.

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.

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