October 17, 2017 5:48 pm
Updated: October 17, 2017 5:52 pm

British Columbians want choice and competition in auto insurance: poll

Lower Mainland residents want change and competition in auto insurance market: poll.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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According to a new poll released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), British Columbians want more options, when it comes to auto insurance.

Almost 80 per cent of British Columbians expressed their desire for more choice and competition in our auto insurance system. The poll also found 89 per cent believed having more choices would allow them to shop around and save money on coverage.

“British Columbians pay amongst the highest premiums in this country for auto insurance. What’s more worrying is that they actually receive less when they go to make a claim compared to drivers in other provinces,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice President of the IBC.

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Sutherland said that in order to keep prices down, the benefits of competition need to be included in discussions about auto insurance.

“It’s how it works in every other jurisdiction in North America. The question is why it doesn’t happen in B.C.”

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Sutherland said drivers in other provinces pay less for insurance, and even if they have an accident, are subject to higher payouts.

B.C. ranks second last when it comes to average payouts nation-wide, said Sutherland.

With more competition, Sutherland said it could also be easier to gather information about auto insurers.

“We only have what they’ll [ICBC] show us, unlike Ontario or Alberta where insurers are regulated and they have to disclose detailed financial findings. Here in B.C. they don’t.”

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Sutherland said companies are eager to enter the B.C. marketplace.

“If you bring in competition, either private industry is able to deliver a product at a cheaper price for drivers and they save money, or they can’t and we have the same situation we have today.”

The provincial government is currently reviewing ICBC following complaints from critics that the system is broken.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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