ICBC proposal will punish at-fault drivers with increased auto insurance premiums

Published: March 7, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is seeking avenues to clamp down on at-fault drivers and protect customers who are not at fault in a collision. The public insurance provider wants to bring more accountability to at-fault driver by introducing changes to basic insurance coverage in British Columbia.

At the moment, the ICBC is only at a proposal stage, but says “We believe that drivers who cause crashes should pay more than those who don’t,” Barry Penner, chair of ICBC’s Board of Directors, said on Friday.

The company says it is updating its basic insurance coverage to put more pressure on at-fault drivers who cause collisions. This will be achieved by making auto insurance premiums for these drivers more expensive.

“Going forward, drivers who cause multiple at-fault crashes will lose their safe driving discounts faster than they do today,” the ICBC says.

However, the provider need approval from the B.C. Utilities Commission if the changes are to come into effect on May 6, 2018. The company says by waiting a year, drivers will be adequately warned of the changes.

As it stands, ICBC points out, “it is possible for some drivers who have achieved the maximum discount to have caused two, or even three, crashes and have the same discount on basic insurance as a driver who has never caused a crash.”

“Long-term safe drivers will continue to have their discount protected if they’re at-fault for one crash, but that won’t be the case if they have multiple at-fault crashes,” the statement continues.

“The increased accountability changes will not apply to at-fault crashes that are on a driver’s insurance record prior to today,” the ICBC adds.

ICBC will continue its credit discount program from drivers who pass each year without a crash. The company says “customers who cause a crash will regain their previous discount if they go three consecutive years without being responsible for a crash.”

There have been 20,000 more collisions in British Columbia through 2016 than there were in 2015. “with the escalating pressures being put on insurance rates – from more crashes, more claims and higher costs per claim – we’re making sure at-fault drivers are held more accountable for the costs they add to the system here in B.C.”

The change “will help us ensure our safe driving discount is applied more fairly and continue to benefit our customers who make smart and safe driving decisions,” concludes ICBC president and CEO Mark Blucher.

“Drivers who make good driving decisions should pay less than drivers who cause multiple crashes.”