Changes to ICBC premiums would see bad drivers pay more

Changes to ICBC premiums would see bad drivers pay more

"Good drivers shouldn't have to continue paying more to cover the costs for those who cause crashes or present a higher risk on the roads".

The provincial government is set to share proposed changes to auto insurance in B.C. today.

David Eby, Attorney General, said the submission ICBC is making to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) would include revenue-neutral proposals aimed at levelling that playing field.

Discounts for seasoned drivers will be extended to reflect up to 40 years of experience, up from the current limit of nine years. If approved, they would take effect September 2019.

The changes are revenue-neutral and not meant to put a dent in ICBC's forecasted $1.3 billion deficit - a situation Eby has called a "financial dumpster fire". "Strangely, those motorists are not facing a system that unfairly labels majority as "bad drivers" and forces them to pay very high insurance rates", he said. It is built around ensuring the vehicle rather than the driver and allows discounts to drivers despite multiple crashes.

Customers would have to list all the drivers who may operate the vehicle, and the experience and crash history of each driver would be taken into account in the premium.

The other 33 per cent of drivers, however, could pay significantly more. So even though they will continue to see a discount, the amount will be reduced. Insurance rates for inexperienced drivers will also be adjusted to represent the greater risk they tend to pose.

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A "transition cap" will limit how much a driver's premium can change from year to year, Eby said, but most drivers will see the full impact of the new model within three years of implementation.

He says if the changes are approved by the BCUC two-thirds of ICBC's customers will benefit....

Those drivers who have caused crashes in the last decade will pay more under the new system, but they can waive one at-fault crash if they have 20 years experience and are 10 years crash-free. "A driver with no crashes could be paying the same premium as a driver with three at-fault crashes in a year". More than 82 per cent of its 35,000 respondents said they felt risky drivers should pay more. But the province is updating the map to better reflect what B.C. looks like in 2018, the province said.

Andrew Wilkinson, leader of the Opposition Liberals, accused the NDP government of doing little to fix the problems at ICBC.

"The changes will not increase the total funds that ICBC collects through basic policies, but instead will rebalance individual driver premiums and reset the way rates are determined".

Those in Langley, Maple Ridge and Abbotsford are costing ICBC at least $1,000 per person.

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