ICBC rates may rise

ICB has submitted its initial documentation to the BC Utilities Commission outlining its next round of intended rate increases

According to a recent government release, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has submitted its initial documentation to the British Columbia Utilities Commission outlining its next round of intended rate increases.

“ICBC has advised government that a number of concerning trends and cost pressures are weighing heavily on its projections, and it needs additional time to conclude mitigation efforts to limit the next basic insurance increase for rate payers,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone.

Stone cites “an increase in the complexity, frequency and severity of bodily injury claims,” as the main reason for the proposed hike.

“Last year, bodily injury costs totalled over $2.17 billion, up nearly 10 per cent in one year.

“While the number of crashes is relatively unchanged, ICBC is also reporting more crashes with multiple injuries than ever before, with more cases being potentially fraudulent,” Stone said.

“Just last month, ICBC released a media bulletin about a ‘jump-in’ scheme, where it was able to determine only one individual was in an accident, but two other relatives fraudulently filed bodily injury claims.”

The increasing costs must be covered by the basic insurance rates we all pay, the minister said.

“If left unmitigated, rates could increase by as much as 6.7 per cent,” Stone said.

“I have made staff from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Finance available to work through ICBC’s numbers and help identify some additional strategies that ICBC could embrace, all in an effort to apply as much downward pressure on insurance rates as possible. I’ve also asked Gordon Macatee – an expert in Crown corporations – to support this work.”