Questions raised about ICBC’s finances as losses mount

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WATCH: Serious questions are being raised about how ICBC handles its finances, now that the Crown corporation expects to be in the red for the next three years. John Hua reports – Feb 22, 2017

ICBC is in the business of collisions and critics say its finances are a wreck.

The Crown corporation expects to be operating in the red for the next three years.

“They aren’t watching what’s going on,” NDP ICBC critic Adrian Dix said in the legislature on Wednesday. “They’re not witnesses to rising insurance costs, they’re driving the car. When will the minister finally take responsibility for those bad choices that B.C. drivers are going to have to pay for?”

Even though ICBC no longer pays the provincial government a dividend, the beleaguered insurance corporation is still having trouble staying in the black.

“There is no question that the pressures on ICBC and its costs are enormous,” said Transportation Minister Todd Stone.

According to ICBC’s newly released financial plan, it is expecting a net income loss of $396 million during the 2016/17 fiscal year.

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They estimate a loss of $144 million the next fiscal year and a $25-million loss in 2018/19. In 2019/20, they anticipate being $143 million in the red.

READ MORE: B.C. says insurance rates to go up by 4.9% as affordability is reviewed

But Stone said the province’s top priority is to keep rates affordable.

Stone said several factors beyond the corporation’s control are impacting the bottom line.

“The number of collisions increase, the cost of those repairs increase, the bodily injury claims cost is increasing,” he said.

But policy expert Richard McCandless said the problem is a broken business model.

“It’s going to cost a lot of money on the government’s part to fix it. Otherwise there’s going to be a huge rate shock come November of this year,” he said.

– With files from John Hua

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