Our article: Business As Usual at ICBC: How to Have your Cake and Eat it Too talked abut ICBC’s August 2013 application to the B.C. Utilities Commission for a basic insurance rate increase of 4.9%. ICBC blamed the increase on personal injury lawyers. See our article: ICBC versus those Damn Lawyers.
That the approval wasn’t a shock to anyone suggests that it’s all just a formality—what was shocking is that the application for a 4.9% increase was approved at 5.2%. What?
What indeed. Even more shocking is that ICBC has yet again applied for a rate increase, this time for 5.2%. Their justification, of course, is the “spike” in injury claims due to distracted driving. In case you haven’t been keeping track, this exceeds a whopping 20% increase in our basic insurance rates since 2012.
Before you start feeling sorry for ICBC, take a look at its most recent “Service Plan”. ICBC is projecting nearly $1 Billion in profits between 2013 and 2016. Alarmingly, the BC Government plans to grab $160 Million over this period from ICBC to “support core government services.”
ICBC was established in 1973 as stewards of the public interest to provide universal car insurance to BC drivers. Its core principles and values were based on simplifying the insurance process and providing coverage at the lowest cost. It is debatable whether its mandate was intended to change from non-profit crown corporation to for-profit revenue generator (read: cash cow). In a 2012 survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, BC drivers ranked ICBC the worst automobile insurer in Canada. It is highly unlikely ICBC’s popularity with BC drivers has increased over the last two years. The Consumers Association of Canada (BC Branch) has published an interesting report on their website entitled “A Consumers’ Perspective to Fixing ICBC: 15 Recommendations To Put British Columbians Back In The Driver’s Seat” which can be viewed here.
Has ICBC lost sight of its core principles and values?
Are BC drivers getting value for their money?
Is ICBC living up to its most recent mission statement “building trust. driving confidence.” (note the deliberate use of lower case letters. Fosters a friendly, less “corporate-y” feel, don’t you think)?
Most importantly, should BC drivers have the right to shop around for car insurance?
What do you think?
Einfeld Law is a highly knowledgeable and experienced BC personal injury law firm specializing in motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other negligence claims involving bodily injury. We have successfully litigated many ICBC and other insurance claims, including out of province, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury, whiplash, soft tissue injury, and all other bodily injury claims. We have collected millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. We never act for ICBC or other insurance companies.