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Rate pressures

More crashes, more claims and higher costs are putting significant external pressure on ICBC’s insurance rates. These pressures show no sign of easing but we are committed to working alongside the new government to do what we can to mitigate them.

In September 2017, ICBC will apply for a basic rate increase of 6.4 per cent with the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC). This is an average increase of $4.75 per month for personal customers’ basic insurance coverage. New rates will be effective November 1, 2017, on an interim basis, subject to the BCUC’s approval.

Optional insurance rates will also be adjusted on November 1, with subsequent optional changes to come through the year. More details can be read in the government news release announcing the rate changes.

ICBC claims data: Continued increase in crashes, claims and costs

More crashes

 

More injury and vehicle damage claims

 

Increase in injury claims costs

 

Increase in vehicle damage claims costs

 

Injury claim settlement trends

 

What ICBC is doing

We are 100 per cent committed to working alongside the new government to make changes and improvements to help improve the current situation.

New mitigation measures

  • Review of ICBC’s operations and practices: Government has directed a review focused on finding relief to claims costs. The pressure on insurance rates is not coming from controllable operating costs – in fact, we’ve made significant strides around management staffing numbers and compensation in recent years – including reductions to our executive team and compensation. In 2016, ICBC’s controllable operating costs made up just 10 per cent of total costs, which includes claims costs, compared to 24 per cent in 2000 and 14 per cent in 2011.
  • Continuing the fight against distracted driving: Government has made a commitment to having ICBC move forward with evaluating and adopting distracted driving technology. ICBC plans to pilot technologies for limiting cell phone use by drivers as well as launching a new distracted driving education and awareness campaign in September of 2017. 
  • Expand intersection safety cameras: Government has directed ICBC to expand B.C.’s intersection safety camera program by activating red light cameras across the province 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Road improvements: ICBC is committed to working with government to expand on the already-successful road improvement program. With the number of crashes in our province increasing every year, government has directed ICBC to work to identify areas with a high number of collisions and then work with local governments to review where improvements can be made.


Steps already in place:

  • Increasing front-line customer service: ICBC addressed the challenge of the increasing number of injury claims being reported by hiring more than 500 new claims employees from January 2016 to June 2017. More needs to be done to ensure there are enough staff to meet customer service needs so ICBC plans to recruit additional claims staff starting in the fall and into 2018.
  • Changes to increase the fairness of basic insurance rates: ICBC is making changes to increase the accountability of drivers who cause crashes by changing how much an at-fault crash affects their basic insurance rates, helping to alleviate the pressure on the rates of those customers who don’t cause crashes. Going forward, drivers who cause multiple at-fault crashes will lose their safe driving discounts faster than they do today.
  • Doubling the premiums of luxury vehicles: Owners of luxury vehicles valued at more than $150,000 now pay double for their basic premiums.
  • Stepping up efforts to combat fraud: With growing concerns over exaggerated and fraudulent claims, ICBC is stepping up its efforts to combat it. In 2016, ICBC completed close to 10,000 investigations into potential fraud while also introducing a new high-tech analytics tool which is helping to identify and target fraudulent activity early in the claims process. Their work has also led to more than 500 convictions since 2010, while thousands of others have faced penalties such as a complete denial of their claim or having assets seized. ICBC expects its fraud detection and enforcement activities to reduce basic insurance claims costs by $59 million a year by 2021 – savings which will directly help to mitigate the pressure on insurance rates.
  • Launching a windshield repair program: While vehicle repair costs are largely driven by the industry and manufacturers, ICBC is taking steps to try and do what they can to get some of these costs down. ICBC launched a windshield repair program this year which has already proven to be very popular with British Columbians while also bringing immediate cost savings. Customers who purchase ICBC’s optional comprehensive coverage are now able to have a windshield chip repaired for free and thousands of customers have already taken advantage of this program. Repairs to windshields cost significantly less than windshield replacements and ICBC anticipates the program will help reduce its costs by approximately $8 million per year.