Accident rate is up, and injury claims, especially older claims that started out as minor. (Black Press files)

ICBC projects deficit of $1.3 billion this year

‘Massive growth’ in injury claims costs piling up

B.C.’s public auto insurer has confirmed its losses are accelerating, with annual injury claims rising from $3 billion in 2014 to almost $4 billion today.

And in addition to a continued increase in vehicle accidents, the pressure is coming from minor injuries that have developed into big demands for compensation by personal injury lawyers.

“In recent months, we have seen the emergence of many more, large and extremely costly claims, which run into hundreds of thousands of dollars each,” ICBC said in a statement posted on its website Sunday. “In particular, older claims – some dating as far back as 2010 – which were initially presented as minor injury claims have since emerged as more complex and costly, large loss claims.

“Over the past 12 months, we have experienced an unprecedented 80 per cent growth in large loss claims which have an average cost of $450,000 per claim.”

The projected loss comes despite a 6.4 per cent basic insurance rate increase approved this month by the B.C. Utilities Commission. That translates to an average increase of $4.75 per month for personal basic insurance coverage, which took effect Nov. 1 on an interim basis.

Attorney General David Eby released a consultant’s report after the NDP government took office in July, projecting ICBC rates could rise 30 per cent by 2019 if changes aren’t made. At the time, Eby rejected the idea of “no-fault” insurance that would cap the awards available for soft tissue and other minor injuries.

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates have traded blame for the soaring increase in claim costs, which has been a cause of alarm for ICBC executives since 2013.

Just Posted

Terrace RCMP arrest Kitimat man for drug trafficking

A police investigation has led to the arrest of a Kitimat man… Continue reading

Terrace Fire Department announces new training program, increased calls in year-end report

All firefighters in Terrace are expected to complete training by the end of April 2018.

UPDATE: Prince Rupert woman killed in logging truck collision

Empty logging truck west of Terrace struck moose before colliding with the eastbound SUV

David Edwardsen sentenced to eight years in jail

Sentencing result of 14 drug and firearms convictions

Taking a virtual walk across Canada

The Kermode Friendship Society challenged their staff to participate in this year’s competition, which aims to promote physical activity, networking, and friendly competition.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Thrilling finish to 59th All Native Tournament

Kitamaat, Hydaburg, Port Simpson and Kitkatla win championships in 2018 All Native Tournament

B.C. VIEWS: Subsidy supercluster settles in B.C.

Ottawa, Victoria add to their overlapping ‘innovation’ budgets

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Canada’s first ever men’s ski slopestyle medal

Men’s hockey team beats South Korea and women’s curling reverses losing streak

Canada’s Beaulieu-Marchand wins bronze in Olympic slopestyle

The skier from Quebec City scored 92.40 on his second run

Russian athlete suspected of doping at PyeongChang Olympics

The case could be an obstacle to Russia’s efforts to have the Russian team formally reinstated

Canadians place second in first heat of two-man bobsleigh

Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz finish 0.02 seconds behind Latvian team in Winter Olympics

Most Read