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

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Citizens Patrol volunteers, from left, Deb McDonald, Denise Thompson and Paula Weir patrol the Mall at Piccadilly parking lot on Saturday, May 1, 2021 checking licence plates. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Citizens Patrol volunteers save motorists a quick $100

Drivers in Salmon Arm receive reminders in parking lot rather than tickets

Grizzly bear. (File)
Malakwa man bitten by grizzly bear on dog walk

The man and dogs were not seriously injured

A hummingbird gives its wings a rare rest while feeding in a North Okanagan garden. (Karen Siemens/North Okanagan Naturalists Club)
Hummingbirds back for another Okanagan season

North America’s littlest birds return, and they’re hungry

(File photo)
Ex-Vernon man’s escorted-leave ‘beyond disappointing’: murder victim’s mother

Shane Ertmoed was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2000 death of 10-year-old Heather Thomas

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

(Kingfisher Boats photo)
In the market for a boat in the North Okanagan? Be prepared to wait

Vernon’s Kingfisher Boats is out of 2021 models, with many 2022 models already pre-sold

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

George Ryga, considered by many as Canada’s most important English playwright lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987. He is the inspiration for the annual Ryga Arts Festival. (Contributed)
Summerland archive established for George Ryga

Renowned author wrote novels, poetry, stage plays and screen plays from Summerland home

Most Read