B.C. drivers will be paying 4.9 per cent more for ICBC insurance.

ICBC rates to go up by 4.9 per cent

The provincial government directed the rate approval for next year.

Those who insure their vehicles in B.C. will see a rate increase for basic insurance of 4.9 per cent.

The provincial government has directed the B.C. Utilities Commission to approve the rate for next year for ICBC, but it wants to make sure that in the long term, the rates are in line with inflation.

Transport Minister Todd Stone told reporters in a conference call that he acknowledges an increase of nearly five per cent year-over-year is not affordable for most families.

“I’ve heard the message loud and clear that people are worried about the increasing cost of living,” he said.

The minister announced the government has launched a third-party review to make recommendations that will keep auto insurance rates affordable in the long term.

Stone said the goal is to put British Columbia drivers first and for the Insurance Corp. of B.C. to manage its cost pressures and bring rate increases closer to the inflation rate.

He said the review will look at the entire spectrum of the insurer’s operations to come up with as many solutions as possible for reducing cost pressures.

“We can’t keep doing things the same way and expect a different outcome, so we’re prepared to change,” Stone said.

The minister said the government does not intend to move to a privatized model of insurance through this review.

The insurance provider has already begun the process to prepare for the review, and the third party is expected to be selected in the new year.

Stone said the aim is to have results of the review ready by early next summer to be able to effect the insurance provider’s next round of rate filing that is due in August.

The third-party review comes as the frequency and severity of injury claims jumped, while the average cost of vehicle claims increased by 17 per cent between 2014 and 2015.

The province announced earlier this year that it would be doubling basic premiums for high-priced luxury vehicles and clamping down on fraud with a new detection tool.

ICBC is the province’s public auto insurer and almost all drivers in the province must purchase basic auto insurance for their vehicle through the corporation.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Preliminary inquiry starts for Chilliwack woman charged in 2016 fatal hit-and-run

Linnea Labbee, 70, accused in Dec. 1, 2016 incident that killed 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian

Short closures on Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge during pier upgrades

The project comes before the major retrofit of the bridge, which has been in the works since 2017

Snowfall warning: 5-10 cm expected in Lower Mainland

The snowfall will start Tuesday and carry on into the evening, before tapering off Wednesday

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

Abbotsford man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read