ICBC board chair Joy MacPhail talked tough on Tuesday, one day after Attorney General David Eby said a “dumpster fire” was building up at the Crown corporation.
“Good drivers should pay less and bad drivers should pay a heck of a lot more,” she said.
ICBC faces $1.3 billion in losses this fiscal year, and MacPhail said it should look at trends that have been implemented around the world when it comes to auto insurance.
“These trends, these changes to auto insurance are not new,” MacPhail said. “They’ve been made in every other jurisdiction in North America. B.C. is the last one to even examine this.”
One of these trends involves a “managed care model,” which MacPhail said will help ICBC deal with injuries as they happen rather than a few years down the road.
“So if you’re in a crash and are injured, the insurance corporation immediately starts attending to the care that you need in order to get better, to alleviate your injuries,” she said.
She said legal costs are very high under the current system.
“Every premium raised goes towards legal costs and far less goes into the care of the individual who’s been in an accident compared to other jurisdictions,” MacPhail said.
B.C. is also behind on changing how customers pay for auto insurance, she added.
“The rates that they get charged have not been looked at for a decade or more, several decades,” MacPhail said.
“So our system is very coarse in determining how much you and I get charged each year for our policy.”
Good drivers aren’t given enough reward and bad drivers aren’t penalized enough under our system, she said.
“Changes to the way rates are designed and determined have been made all throughout the rest of North America once again and not here,” MacPhil asserted.
Eby also elaborated on some of the options available to the province: one of them is the expansion of red light cameras.
“These are fixed cameras, you can put up a big sign that says if you speed through this intersection at 20 kilometres an hour or more, you’re going to get a ticket guaranteed,” Eby aid.
He said the government is also looking into reducing the costs of auto body repairs.
“British Columbia appears to have one of the highest auto body repair costs in all of North America when we look at other jurisdictions,” Eby said.
“So I’m trying to figure out how we got there and what we can do to control those costs.”
PriceWaterhouseCoopers has been tasked with a report on why the costs of repairing vehicles are so high.
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- With files from Ria Renouf