The BC Conservative Party supports reforming the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) in order to reduce insurance rates for BC drivers.
A recent report by Ernst & Young found that the average driver in B.C. may need to pay almost $2,000 in annual total premiums for auto insurance by 2019, an increase of 30 per cent over today’s rates. ICBC itself indicated that rates would need to increase by 42 per cent over the next five years to make up for expenses. Even now, B.C. drivers pay the highest insurance premiums in Canada.
“ICBC has turned into a train wreck and a national embarrassment,” said Vernon’s Scott Anderson, interim leader of the BC Conservatives. “The Liberals used it as a piggy bank and the NDP’s answer is to simply raise rates, just as they plan to raise taxes. Neither one is acceptable.”
The BC Conservatives will turn ICBC into a co-operative, ensuring that BC drivers who pay premiums will be the ones who own the organization. A co-operative will work in drivers’ best interest, rather than serving the government of the day.
The BC Conservatives will also open the industry to private competition, to help drive rates lower.
British Columbia has a well established, profitable, strong, and well managed co-operative movement. BC is home to three of the five largest credit unions in Canada, plus a co-operative that is the largest supplier of outdoor equipment in Canada.
“We agree with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation that ICBC should be turned into a co-operative owned by B.C. drivers,” said Anderson. “Competition also must be opened up to private companies for basic insurance in order to reduce insurance rates for everyone. It is completely unacceptable that B.C. drivers now pay the highest insurance premiums in Canada.”
Anderson said a guaranteed way to ensure B.C. drivers no longer pay the highest insurance rates in the country is to turn ICBC into a co-op, then open up basic insurance to competition.