B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth defends government actions in the legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth defends government actions in the legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)

ICBC applies for 15% rate decrease as lawyers pushed out

Resolution tribunal to determine most injury awards

The Insurance Corp. of B.C. is applying for a 15 per cent rate decrease for its monopoly basic vehicle insurance as the B.C. government’s changes to eliminate most of the costly lawsuits against the province’s auto insurer take effect next year.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the rate cut, subject to approval of the B.C. Utilities Commission, will be a substantial step to delivering on a promised 20 per cent reduction in insurance costs. ICBC is also cutting its optional insurance rates starting Feb. 1, 2021, and the rate reductions should start showing up on ICBC renewals.

ICBC got approval for a 6.3 per cent rate increase in January 2019, the latest increase as the province prepared to bail out the corporation with $1 billion to cover a deficit caused by ballooning crash and injury awards and court costs.

RELATED: B.C. restricts ICBC lawsuits, promises rate cut

RELATED: Province bails out ICBC, B.C. Hydro in 2020 budget

The new injury coverage, which the government calls Enhanced Care, takes effect on May 1, 2021. When it takes effect, ICBC customers are told to expect a one-time refund.

“It will be calculated using the difference between a driver’s current Autoplan coverage and the new, lower-cost Enhanced Care coverage, for the portion of their existing policy that extends past May 1, 2021,” Farnworth and ICBC president Nicolas Jiminez said Dec. 14.

Farnworth was assigned responsibility for ICBC with the formation of the new majority NDP government, after Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby pushed through the changes over the objections of the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. Eby first moved to limit expert witnesses in injury cases, prompting a legal challenge.

Horgan and Eby have rejected the lawyers’ description of the new system as “no fault,” pointing out that people can still be sued in some circumstances.

“You can’t run into someone without consequences,” Horgan said in announcing the new system in February 2020. “Your rates will go up. If you are found criminally responsible or criminally negligent, you can be sued.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsICBC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

White Rock Public Library (File photo)
Surrey, White Rock literacy leaders kick off Family Literacy Week

Literacy events to take place Jan. 24 to 31

Laura Barnes is to feature some of her artwork at Gallery at Central Plaza next month. (Contributed photo)
New artist showcase coming to White Rock gallery

Laura Barnes work, mixing brights and darks, to be displayed in February

Surrey Community Cat Foundation received funding to assist with medical procedures. (File photo)
SurreyCats receives grant to assist with spay/neuter costs

PetSmart Charities of Canada donates $5,000

Beds are set up at the emergency response centre at the North Surrey Recreation Centre. (Contributed file photo)
26 people test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey emergency shelter

Centre located at North Surrey Recreation Centre

Surrey firefighters respond to a townhouse fire Sunday morning. (Shane MacKichan photos)
Firefighters respond to townhouse fire in Surrey

Fire ‘knocked down quickly’: witness

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

Most Read