‘This is not sustainable’: ICBC loses $935M in first 9 months of fiscal year
The Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC) said it has lost nearly $1 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal year.
Between Apr. 1 and Dec. 31 2017, ICBC posted a net loss of $935 million, according to a statement.
The insurer says the loss “is further evidence of the growing financial pressures we are under from the rapid increase in the number of crashes occurring across B.C., the surge in claims and the massive growth in the costs of those claims.”
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ICBC said they have seen an 80 per cent growth in large loss claims, with an average cost of $450,000 per claim.
“Simply put, the amount of premiums we are collecting from customers is not covering the ever-increasing amounts we are paying out in claims costs,” ICBC said in a statement, noting the current system is “not sustainable.”
In September, David Eby, the minister responsible for ICBC, asked the provincial utilities commission to hike basic auto insurance rates.
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Last month, Eby said ICBC customers should expect significant changes in 2018.
A review looking for opportunities to save money at ICBC is slated for completion this year.
‘It’s not a one-off problem’
Meanwhile, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says it’s time to take a second look at ICBC and open up the insurance market to the private sector.
“I won’t be surprised if they suddenly say we need to bail out ICBC,” spokesperson Kris Sims said. “But the problem there is that this won’t go away. They will continuously have to come back to us and say, ‘Oops, sorry. We need to bail out ICBC.'”
Sims said the problem is “fundamental,” noting it’s not a one-time issue.
A rate increase could prevent some British Columbians from owning a vehicle and being able to get to work, especially as many can only afford to live on the outskirts, said Sims.
— With files from Kyle Benning, Liza Yuzda and The Canadian Press
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