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

This image shows the Kitsumkalum community hall. The First Nation is about to head to the polls to elect a new council. (Brittany Gervais/Terrace Standard)
All-candidates forum planned for Kitsumkalum election

Virtual meeting set for evening of Feb. 8

Kitselas First Nation received a round of COVID-19 vaccine shots. (Kitselas First Nation image)
Kitselas receives COVID-19 vaccine

Delivery of vaccine was expedited after cluster of cases in community

Northern Health has issued COVID-19 exposure notices for Uplands Elementary School and Centennial Christian School in Terrace. (COVID-19/ CDC Image)
Two more COVID-19 exposure notices issued for schools in Terrace

Exposures took place at Uplands Elementary School and Centennial Christian School

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read