ICBC to reward customers with discounts for limiting phone use

Published: August 21, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The British Columbia government wants to arm its public insurance company with power to discount drivers who opt to disable their mobile phones while on the road.

Currently, the provincial insurance company, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is under scrutiny after a leaked report showed the organization is in financial trouble. Recommendations for solving the financial crisis include raising auto insurance premiums by up to 30%.

British Columbia was already in an auto insurance crisis as the second most expensive (after Ontario) market in Canada. Customers would arguably be priced out of the market if rates do increase. Attorney General (and ICBC head) David Eby has said a 30% increase will not happen, but no clear solutions for the ICBC problem have been offered.

In the meantime, Eby says customers can reduce their premiums by looking to modern technology. Devices (such as the RoadBuddee) block texts and other smartphone activity while the vehicle is on the road. Eby told CTV News these devices have already been adopted in the US and other regions, and can be used in Canada.

The country has been exploring the technology since April and Eby wants the ICBC to fully adopt the method:

“American-insured drivers get a reduced rate if they implement these in their vehicles. I asked ICBC to look at these kinds of things and they’re preparing to do that,” Eby told CTV News.