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Changes to ICBC premiums would see bad drivers pay more

12 August 2018

- Changing the current system where at-fault crashes are tied to the person who owns a vehicle, rather than the individual driver.

It's unclear, however, how this move could impact companies who rely on young drivers.

Under the changes, which will be submitted to the BC Utilities Commission for approval and would take effect in September, 2019, high-risk drivers and those who have been behind the wheel for less than 15 years would face higher premiums.

Attorney General David Eby and ICBC board chair Joy MacPhail outlined a variety of proposed changes Thursday explaining how ICBC will "modernize" the way people pay for their vehicle insurance. "It's only fair", said Eby in a statement. A driver with no crashes could be paying the same premium as a driver with three at-fault crashes in a year.

Inexperienced and high-risk drivers would pay more for their vehicle insurance in British Columbia under proposed changes to modernize the province's Crown auto insurance corporation.

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Almost 40 per cent of drivers would see up to a $50 reduction in their annual premiums, while 15 per cent would see more than a $100 reduction, the province said, adding that just over 10 per cent would see an up to $50 increase and 17 per cent would see their rates hiked more than $100.

"Eight out of 10 drivers can't possibly have the same risk profile, especially when crashes on our roads are at an all-time high", she said.

The current model to calculate rates used by the Insurance Corporation of B.C.is "broken", he said.

If approved by the BCUC, these changes will benefit an estimated two-thirds of ICBC's customers.

Around 80 per cent of drivers are now eligible for the maximum discounts under the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, a situation officials say doesn't reflect the reality on the roads.

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"While we're happy to hear, on the surface, that good drivers will pay less and bad drivers will pay more, we want to see serious numbers here and we urge the province to open ICBC up to competition", she said. The remaining third will see their premiums increase. It said 11 per cent would see an increase of up to $50 annually, while 5 per cent would see an increase of between $50 and 100.

17% of all drivers - more than $100 increase.

"When we look across North America we see that most other jurisdictions operate without a government-run insurance system, but do operate under very similar driving laws as British Columbia".

Mr. Eby has said the former Liberal government hid the financial mess at ICBC and avoided the hard measures needed to restore its balance sheet.

However, Green Party leader Andrew Weaver supported the changes.

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Changes to ICBC premiums would see bad drivers pay more