B.C. could cap minor injury auto insurance awards to relieve ICBC

Published: February 1, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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David Eby, the Attorney General for British Columbia and the minister in charge of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), has been vocal this week about the insurer’s financial problems. Speaking to Canadian Underwriter on Tuesday, he offered arguably the first concrete strategy towards fixing the broker public auto insurance company.

The ICBC recorded over $900 million in losses through the first nine months of its fiscal year, following a report last summer that showed the company is in financial trouble. It is believed auto premiums in B.C. would have to be raised by 30% to break even. Eby has said this will not happen, although premiums have increased by around 10%.

Even so, the ICBC is still in trouble and people are hunting for answers. Eby has consistently blamed the former Liberal government for taking nearly $2 billion surplus from the Crown Corporation. He has also ruled out allowing private companies to offer mandatory auto insurance in B.C.

Speaking to CU this week, Eby said the province is now weighing up using caps on awards in auto insurance personal injury lawsuits. A cap on minor injury claims the ICBC could cut claims costs by up to $380 million per year.

The government “is considering caps on minor injury pain and suffering awards, as well as other initiatives related to reducing legal costs, as they make up 24% of ICBC’s costs,” Attorney General David Eby wrote Tuesday in a statement.