Metro Vancouver get worst of BC auto insurance premium hikes

Published: August 20, 2018

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British Columbia is Canada’s most expensive auto insurance market in Canada, an upcoming rate increase will worsen the situation for customers. Motorists living in the Lower Mainland/Metro Vancouver region will be most affected by the premium hike, according to documents.

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) will increase the average rate for its “territory and rate class factor” in the Lower Mainland by 1% per year for the next decade. This is a separate hike from any potential increase the ICBC seeks through the BC Utilities Commission later this year.

So aside from inevitable rate changes through the Utilities Commission, drivers in Lower Mainland will see a guaranteed increase of 11% for auto insurance from now to 2028. ICBC is actively targeting the most populated area in the province. Indeed, in less populated cities and rural locations, motorists will see their rates decrease.

For example, drivers in the Okanagan, the Kootenays, the Cariboo, and in Peace River will enjoy 13%, 27%, 38% and 40% decreases in their premiums. ICBC president Nicolas Jiminez says the company’s recent fair-rate system will help change the ICBC’s fortunes, while it will also “fine tune” its territory system:

“There are many factors, and territory is only one of them. It’s not that big. The biggest is crashes,” Jiminez explained.

“Is there an opportunity to do more to fine-tune the territory structure? Absolutely. Do we have time to do that today? No. Will we get to that in the future? Yes, that’s something we will look at,” the president added.

A 2017 EY report that showed the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is financially burdened amid rising collisions, claims, and repair costs.