ICBC: 350,000 collisions in British Columbia during 2017

Published: July 18, 2018

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It has been one of the insurance stories of the last year, the near financial ruin of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Rising claims, collisions, and repair costs have put the public basic auto coverage provider on the edge and turned British Columbia into the most expensive auto market in Canada.

While many reasons have been offered as why the ICBC is in such trouble, there is no doubt the burden of collisions is taking it toll. To further prove that point, the company has posted its startling automobile collision records for 2017.

ICBC says it recorded 350,000 crashes during last year, a record high number of collisions. The total cost to manage these collisions through repairs and claims was an eye-watering $4.8 billion.

Lindsay Matthews, interim vice-president for road safety at the ICBC says that the number of collisions in 2017 was up 6% from 2016 and a massive 25% from 2014. The numbers show there was an average of 960 collisions each day in British Columbia which means one in 10 BC drivers could be involved in a crash.

Speeding, impairment, and distracted driving remain the leading causes of collisions, and other bad driving habits result in many minor incidents.

Earlier today, British Columbia was named the most expensive auto insurance market in Canada. In response, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has once again for private auto insurance competition to be introduced in the province:

“Under ICBC’s monopoly, British Columbians pay the highest auto insurance prices in Canada, with premiums averaging $1,680 annually,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “With further rate increases on the horizon, it is critical that ICBC is opened to competition and choice to improve affordability for drivers.”

“Opening BC’s auto insurance marketplace to competition would save drivers up to $325 annually,” added Sutherland. Competition provides a powerful incentive for any company to deliver the best service at the best price. Auto insurance is no exception to this rule Canadian private insurers are eager to better serve the BC marketplace.”