ICBC has no need to address customer satisfaction problems

Published: December 8, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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British Columbia’s monopoly public auto insurer is under fire from all angles, but has little incentive to improve its customer care. A member of the B.C. opposition says the ruling New Democratic Party have failed by not introducing changes from recommendations offered in July.

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) holds a monopoly on basic auto insurance in B.C. In the summer, a report found the company is financial trouble due to rising collisions and claims cost. Merely to keep pace, ICBC would have to raise auto insurance premiums by 30%, which would make the province the most expensive auto market in Canada.

David Eby and other NDP members have said the previous Liberal government is to blame for the situation as it took $2 billion from the ICBC when there was a surplus. However, since the report five months ago, no major changes have been made to address the problem and recommendations.

Amid the controversy, customers remain unhappy with the performance of the ICBC in terms of customer car. A recent satisfaction survey by J.D. Power Canada shows a customer satisfaction score of 668 out of 1,000. This below the national average of 784 out of 1,000.

“There is not really a big incentive for them to improve their customer satisfaction numbers because there is no defection threat,” J.D. Power insurance business consultant Robert Lajdziak said.

Lajdziak believes competition in the auto insurance market would give customers an alternative, but most would certainly leave the ICBC.