British Columbia’s auto insurance reforms could come into effect this year

Published: May 27, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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British Columbia says it's proposed changes to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) could be brought into effect by this fall.

The provincial government has drawn up several reforms that are designed to help the financially troubled public auto insurance company. No official timeframe for the introduction of changes has been given, but it is now believed some reforms could arrive in the coming months.

“Changes to our auto insurance rating system are long overdue,” Attorney General David Eby said in a statement.

Eby is the minister who oversees the insurance provider. The government in B.C. last week issued a press release confirming 35,000 people took part in an online consultation this spring. The consultation was held to discuss the upcoming changes planned for the ICBC.

Among the changes mooted is a cap on minor injury benefits from auto collisions and a hike in auto insurance premiums.

“The responses from the ICBC rate fairness engagement indicate the majority of British Columbians favour changes that will make insurance more affordable for low-risk drivers and see high-risk drivers pay increased insurance premiums to better reflect the risks they represent.”

Repeat offenders will take the brunt of increased payments, Eby confirmed. Indeed, the government has told the ICBC to request new penalty rates from the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC). The focus will be on repeat offenders in speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving.

“While moving quickly to implement changes for dangerous driving, we are also using this feedback to inform additional changes in the coming months to help make rates fairer for drivers,” Eby explained.

“This feedback will help ensure our improved auto insurance rating system is consistent with the values of British Columbians.”