Get ready to pay more for your basic car insurance in British Columbia.
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) announced it is asking the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) for a 6.3 per cent increase to basic insurance rates.
If approved, the new basic insurance rate will go into effect on April 1, and mean an average increase of less than $60 for personal customers’ basic insurance coverage.
“The changes being made at ICBC today are arguably the most substantial in the corporation’s long history and to the auto insurance industry as a whole in this province,” ICBC President and CEO Nicolas Jimenez said in a release.
The public insurer has been struggling to deal with rising costs linked to lawyer fees, increased crashes and fraudulent claims. Last year the company lost $1.3 billion and is expected to lose more than $800 million this fiscal year.
Last year the rates went up 6.4 per cent on the basic side and up to 9.6 per cent on the optional side. The province estimated the average British Columbian paid an additional $130 per year after the increase were factored in.
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Premier John Horgan told Global News in his year-end interview that the government is trying to avoid double-digit rate increases, but admits people likely still won’t be happy with how much the rates will be raised.
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ICBC is in the midst of a massive overhaul that aims to bring rate stability to the auto insurance system. Attorney General David Eby is forecasting the changes could save the company $1 billion per year and is hoping future rate increases can be pegged to inflation.
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“While we acknowledge no rate increase is welcome news, it is encouraging to see these major reforms already having an impact on our insurance rates,” Jimenez said. ”
“The next year will be a very important one for us – our job is to ensure our customers continue to see the benefits of these massive changes on both the rates they pay and the care and benefits they receive.”
— With files from Richard Zussman