British Columbia will not go down “that direction” regarding auto insurance competition

Published: January 31, 2020

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The British Columbia government has once again rejected calls from the private insurance companies to allow auto insurance competition in the province. Instead, the Crown-owned Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) will receive reforms to lower premiums for motorists.

Attorney General David Eby says the monopoly insurance provider is focused on regaining the trust of customers following several years of uncertainty. The ICBC has lost billions of dollars in recent years and several reforms have been enacted to stem the flow of money leaving the company. At the same time, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) – with wide backing – has repeatedly called for private auto insurers to be given the ability to write basic coverage.

“We’re taking the steps to improve the oversight, accountability and transparency of ICBC, and to begin the process of rebuilding British Columbians’ trust and confidence in our public auto insurer,” Eby told a news conference.

Announced on Wednesday, the latest measures have helped to stabilize the financial wellbeing of the company. He said a recent press release pointing to a report that shows British Columbians pay more for auto insurance than neighbouring Albertans is misleading. He said competition would have little effect on most drivers in the province.

“The only drivers to benefit would be about a third of drivers over the age of 45. … And because of that, we will not be going in that direction.”