Canadian Tax Payers Federation joins B.C. auto insurance debate

Published: March 26, 2019

Updated: April 1, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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Last week, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) re-iterated the need for British Columbia to embrace competition from private auto insurance companies. This time the IBC was armed with a study that shows B.C. motorists will pay up to 60% more than their neighbours in Alberta this year. Now, the Canadian Tax Payers Federation (CTF) has waded in on the debate by supporting the IBC.

Just days after the IBC released its new information, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) and the province’s Attorney General David Eby criticized the report.

The study highlighted both provinces will offer similar protection, but despite Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) cost-cutting measures, drivers in B.C. will continue to pay over the odds. B.C. has a monopoly public insurance market, whereas Alberta shares auto insurance with private companies.

CTF BC Director Kris Sims says the study highlights the problems with the ICBC:

“They used an example of a young man who is 24-years old who is driving a 2010 Ford F-150 and he is paying $260 more than his equivalent would be in Alberta.”

“This is one of those things where sometimes people say ICBC is high and then they come back to say oh we’re not that high, well, actually you are and this data makes a very good study for that.”

While the ICBC refutes the study and says the IBC is underestimating the difficulties of the market in the province. Sims believes the comparison with Alberta is important for a number of reasons.

“Number one, we share a lot of similar geographies especially the Rocky Mountains, we share similar industries when you start comparing the need for pickup trucks and heavier vehicles up north for our resource-based industries and also now the way ICBC has changed how insurance works here in British Columbia our systems are more comparable.”