The rate filing deadline for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has been extended by two weeks. The extension was confirmed today by British Columbia’s Attorney General, who moved the rate application for mandatory basic auto insurance to September 15, 2017.
David Eby, Attorney General and the minister in charge of ICBC announced the additional time from the Ministry of the Attorney General. Each year, the ICBC must file revenue requirements application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC).
Eby says the extension gives the government “an opportunity to assess ICBC’s financial challenges with the goal of keeping rates at the lowest possible level.” He also plans to “announce short-term measures that will help solve the concerns and get the organization back on firmer financial footing.”.
Last month, a government commissioned report by Ernst & Young LLP showed that the ICBC is in financial trouble. The report concluded that current rates do not cover rising claims costs and collisions in the province, which is already Canada’s second most expensive auto insurance market.
The 195-page report, titled Affordable and Effective Auto Insurance – A New Road Forward for British Columbia, suggested premiums would need to increase by up to 30% to make ICBC viable.
“The average driver in B.C. may need to pay almost $2,000 in annual total premiums for auto insurance by 2019, an increase of 30% over today’s rates, assuming current trends persist, the objective is to have ICBC’s rates cover its costs, and significant reform is not undertaken,” the report read.
Eby has said he will not oversee such a rate increase and the government is currently exploring options to solve the ICBC crisis. The Attorney General has blamed the previous liberal government for taking cash out of the ICBC when there was a surplus.