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ICBC statement on BCUC information request

November 23, 2016

ICBC has today refiled its original, complete response – along with some additional information – to the British Columbia Utilities Commission's (BCUC) information request, 2016.1 RR BCUC.19.1.

ICBC earlier requested that part of its response be held confidentially by the BCUC and remains concerned about the publication of the purely hypothetical scenarios requested by the Commission and the potentially misleading impression they convey.

The request from the BCUC directed ICBC to assume that no efforts are being made by the corporation and government to expand on our current initiatives or to implement new initiatives designed to alleviate the pressures being put on insurance rates – this is far from the case. Nor did the request consider any future improvements to the various rate mitigation initiatives already underway.

To illustrate the challenges with responding to this request, ICBC has updated its response with two additional hypothetical scenarios using different sets of assumptions from those requested by the BCUC.

The resulting outcomes portray a different picture of basic insurance rates which are subject to the same issue of volatility and uncertain external trends. None of these speculative scenarios are a real forecast. ICBC's 2016 rate application is asking for a 4.9 per cent increase to basic insurance rates and we remain committed to keeping rates as affordable as possible for our customers.

ICBC's full response to the BCUC's information request can be read here:

The process of BCUC and interested parties submitting information requests to ICBC is a normal part of the annual regulatory rate application process.

ICBC worked alongside government earlier this year to implement various initiatives aimed at alleviating the accelerating external pressures on auto insurance rates – an escalation in the number of crashes, the number of claims being filed and the cost of settling those claims.

These initiatives included stepping up our efforts to combat fraud and continuing the fight against distracted driving. By taking a number of steps, we were able to get our current rate application down to 4.9 per cent – lower than last year's 5.5 per cent.

ICBC is committed to continuing to work alongside government to explore further initiatives to alleviate the growing pressures on insurance rates.

Editor's note: Minister Stone is making an announcement around insurance changes at 2:30PM. ICBC is not available to make any further comment at this time.