More crashes, more claims and the rising cost of both injury claims and vehicle repairs are the primary external pressures on insurance rates in B.C.
These pressures are very real and are accelerating. The combination of all of these factors led us to ask the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) for a 4.9 per cent increase on basic rates. The BCUC approved the 4.9 per cent increase on a permanent basis on January 12, 2017.
External pressures on rates
The pressures we're facing include:
The number of crashes across B.C. jumped by 15 per cent in two years, from 260,000 in 2013 to 300,000 in 2015.
As a result, more vehicle damage claims are being reported to ICBC than ever before - 232,300 over the last 12 months alone (July 2015 to June 2016), which is 23,700 more than just two years ago and an increase of 11 per cent.
More injury claims
The numbers of injury claims and people being injured per crash, has skyrocketed. At the same time, the cost of settling injury claims has risen to $2.4 billion in 2015 alone. That's up by $900 million, or 60 per cent, over the last seven years.
Higher vehicle repair costs
Vehicles today are more expensive to repair than ever before. Plus, because of the poor US exchange rate, our vehicle repair costs for 2014-15 jumped to a total of $1.36 billion – a 17 per cent increase.
What ICBC is doing
We are doing everything we can to keep rates as low as possible and alleviate the pressures on insurance rates:
We have stepped up our efforts against exaggerated and fraudulent claims which could be costing hundreds of millions per year in additional claims costs. Our commitment to improving fraud detection and enforcement is expected to reduce basic insurance claims costs by $21 million for insurance policies written over the next year.
Find out more about
how we’re combating fraud.
Continuing the fight against distracted driving
We know that
distracted driving is now responsible for approximately one quarter of all fatal crashes in B.C. Tougher penalties for distracted drivers have already been introduced and a new public education campaign will get underway in September.
Find out more about distracted driving.
Reducing management numbers, compensation, and operating costs
ICBC’s executive team has decreased from 11 members in 2012 to just eight today, along with other significant staffing and compensation cuts from our management group. In 2015, total executive compensation was 46 per cent lower than it was in 2011.
We've also made significant strides around management staffing numbers and compensation in recent years. As a result, the number of ICBC employees making more than $150,000 per year was reduced by almost 50% from 2014 to 2015.
We have a commitment to keeping our controllable operating costs low - in 2015, our controllable operating costs made up 11% of total costs (including claims costs) compared to 24% in 2000.
Modernizing our systems to result in savings
We are in the final stage of a program to modernize our aging systems, all paid for through optional insurance income. The program is expected to save approximately $90-100 million every year.
More front-line customer service and access to benefits
To help address the increasing number of injury claims, we're hiring approximately 160 new claims staff, with a further 180 additional claims staff later this year. We are also improving customers' access to benefits, including access to the medical treatments they need immediately after they report their claim.