Provincial Government Tries to Save ICBC
On the heels of the news that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is on the brink of insolvency, the BC provincial government has stepped in and implemented reforms – that are effective immediately – regarding the handling of vehicle injury court cases.
British Columbia Attorney General David Eby said under the new/immediately-effective rules, parties involved in an auto injury claim will each be allowed one medical expert & one medical report each for claims valued at less than $100,000. For claims valued over $100,000, up to three medical experts & three medical reports, from each of the involved parties, can be used in car injury court cases.
‘’What we’re trying to address are the excesses of the system that don’t advance any interests,’’ Eby said. ‘’It doesn’t advance any interest to have six-plus experts on a claim. It doesn’t advance any interests to have a $50,000 expense to resolve a $100,000 claim.’’
According to the General Insurance Statistical Agency (GISA), BC’s average annual auto insurance rate of $1,680 represents the highest average annual auto insurance rate in Canada. This number surpasses Ontario’s annual rate of $1,445.
The intent of the reforms is to avoid the delays and lower the costs associated with settling an auto injury claim.
According to the Vancouver Sun, ICBC projects these initiatives will save ICBC $400 million a year. ICBC stated last week that they have suffered a net loss of $860 million through three-quarters of their fiscal year.
Calls for Private Auto Insurance in BC
With the BC government & ICBC announcing the above immediate changes & financial loss amount, calls for the private auto insurance sector being able to offer car insurance in the province are sure to increase. In August of 2018, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) called for a systematic change in auto insurance for Canada’s western-most province.
At the time, IBC predicted an open market competition could save individual BC residents up to $325 annually on their Canada-high car insurance premium average of $1,680 per year.
Some 25,000 individuals have signed a petition against ICBC on change.org. If you’d like to add your name to the list, click here.