David Eby challenges the BC Liberals record on ICBC after a new report warns of sharp rate hikes. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

David Eby challenges the BC Liberals record on ICBC after a new report warns of sharp rate hikes. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

ICBC rates could go up 30 per cent by 2019: report

NDP promises improvements won’t include photo radar

ICBC rates could go up by as much as 30 per cent by 2019, a new report warns.

The Ernst & Young report, released Monday, says the average driver could pay up to $2,000 per year, as long as trends persist, the corporation still has to cover its costs through rates, and nothing is done to improve things.

It points to more crashes, higher payouts for minor injuries, and a rate of claim increase that is going up faster than accident rates.

Attorney General David Eby, who is the new NDP government’s ICBC minister and past critic, wasted no time slamming the BC Liberals’ record. The NDP has long criticized the BC Liberals’ handling of the auto insurer, and promised to slow down rate hikes during the 2017 provincial election campaign.

“This report illustrates a situation that must have been apparent to the board and to the previous administration,” Eby told reporters in downtown Vancouver. “For some reasons they failed to act… we will act. A 30-per-cent rate increase will not be happening on our watch.”

“The BC Liberals have been using ICBC as a bank machine, bringing money out of the corporation to claim better finances than are the case.”

RELATED: Premier John Horgan appoints new ICBC, BC Hydro chairs

The report says accident rates went up by 23 per cent between 2013 and 2016, and that vehicle repair costs skyrocketed to a total of $1.5 billion in 2016.

According to Eby, drivers who aren’t careful on B.C.’s roads might soon have to pay for it.

“Drivers should be rewarded for good driving and people who are bad drivers should have to pay higher rates,” he said. “Making them pay more because they are costing the system more just makes sense to us.”

But not everything the report proposes interests the new minister, who called photo radar and no-fault insurance “non starters.”

He did not elaborate, but did say he planned to reduce how many claimants felt the need to hire lawyers to deal with ICBC.

High-value cars over $150,000 are also cited as a major reason for higher premiums. Seventy per cent more luxury cars are on the road in 2016 than in 2013.

In late 2016, then-transportation minister Todd Stone announced ICBC would no longer cover cars worth more than $150,000. When a 2016 ICBC insurance forecast showed a potential hike of 42 per cent over the next five years, the agency called the numbers “hypothetical” and “potentially misleading.”

RELATED: ICBC won’t insure luxury cars, Stone says after forecast of hikes

In 2000, the average minor injury claim paid out $8,220, compared to just over $30,000 in 2016 – an increase of 365 per cent.

Serious or catastrophic injury payouts, the report notes, increased by only 25 per cent. In total, payouts for minor injuries now cost ICBC more than payouts for serious injuries.

Liberal MLA Andrew Wilkinson called Eby’s response to the report a “complete failure.”

“We now have a government telling us what they’re not doing to do and has completely failed in telling us what they are going to do,” said Wilkinson.

Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson says the new NDP government should have have a plan in place to deal with ICBC – now. Katya Slepian/Black Press

He blamed the recent rise in insurance claims on new, high-tech vehicles with components that are expensive to repair. He said the NDP has known about that and the growing number of claims for years.

“What I would do with this report is suggest to the NDP it’s up to them to come up with a viable plan for how to face the future on ICBC,” said Wilkinson. “Where is the plan that they’ve been working on for four years?”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Surrey-White Rock MLA Trevor Halford and Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux. (Contributed photos)
BC NDP ‘chose to create a system of chaos’ by holding back COVID-19 data: Cadieux

South Surrey MLAs criticize provincial government after BCCDC documents leak

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
Surrey woman a face of World Ovarian Cancer Day campaign in London, New York

‘It’s so important we find better treatments,’ Catherine Eiswerth says

The map shows the number of COVID-19 cases for the week of April 25 to May 1. The darkest areas indicate communities with a daily average of more than 20 cases per 100,000 population. (BC Centre of Disease Control)
Surrey and Abbotsford battle for top COVID hotspot in Fraser Health

Two communities are among areas across province showing highest transmission

Ocean Athletics’ Roy Jiang – a senior at Southridge School – will study, run track and play clarinet at the California Institute of Technology beginning this fall. (Gordon Kalisch/Fast Track Sports Photography)
‘Triple-threat’ Southridge School student runs toward CalTech

Roy Jiang will compete on track team, play in the university’s symphony and study bioengineering

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

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

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

Most Read