Three main factors push up insurance rates for B.C. drivers: ICBC

Big jumps in number of crashes and injury payouts are contributing to the situation

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is under pressure on three fronts, all of which are contributing to a sharp increase in proposed rates for drivers, spokeswoman Joanna Linsangan says.

More crashes, more damage and injury claims, and higher costs associated with those claims mean higher rates are needed to cover expenses.

Related: Once feted B.C. auto insurer is a wreck, no clear path to a lasting fix: critics

Here is an outline of those factors and how they have changed in recent years:

  • There are about 875 crashes on an average day in B.C., resulting in payouts of almost $13 million in claims. The number of crashes jumped by 23% between 2013 and 2016.
  • Injury payouts have soared 80% over the last seven years, while vehicle repair costs increased by 30% between 2014 and 2016.
  • B.C. is the only province with no restrictions on filling lawsuits for vehicle accident claims, meaning victims tend to receive higher medical benefit and rehab pay-outs, but also higher legal costs for the Crown corporation.
  • Between 2004 and 2016, the percentage of claims involving legal representation doubled, from about 25% to more than 50%. Claims with legal representation are more expensive, partly because of legal fees and the need for expert reports and medical tests.

Source: The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

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