CTF questions proposed auto insurance rate increase in British Columbia

Published: January 7, 2019

Updated: February 1, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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The chorus of displeasure surrounding the auto insurance rate increase requested by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is growing, and its not just customers voicing concerns. Indeed, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) has asserted its disappointment in the request.

As we reported last month, ICBC has applied for a 6.4% increase in basic auto insurance coverage for British Columbian motorists. Kris Sims, BC director for the CTF says consumers will be affected by the bump in premiums.

“I just feel really bad for the rate payers, which is pretty much everyone with a car in BC,” Sims told My Prince George Now. “Your rates are going up and you have no choice about it because the government told you how much your rates are going up by. I also want to point out that drivers in other provinces don’t need to put up with this.”

While supporting customers, Sims criticized the lack of official statements from ICBC and BC Utilities regarding optional rates. She says these rates don’t seem to have increased or decreased. “We haven’t had an announcement on that which is causing some concern because usually, they would announce the basic and the optional at the same time.”

“It could be that it is going down but you would think they would want to trumpet that, but maybe it is staying the same, maybe they are calculating it in a different way – it’s odd. It is odd to see they are not announcing the optional rate and we’re trying to find that out.”

In B.C., basic mandatory auto insurance protection is covered exclusively by the ICBC as the provincial crown corporation. Optional auto insurance is provided by private insurance companies. There have been various calls, most notably from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) for private insurers to be allowed to sell basic coverage in B.C.