ICBC retreats from rate hike for risky drivers

ICBC has withdrawn its plan to make drivers with speeding tickets or other recent traffic violations pay more in order to give those with a clean record deeper discounts.

  • May. 28, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Jeff Nagel

Black Press

 

 

ICBC has withdrawn its plan to make drivers with speeding tickets or other recent traffic violations pay more in order to give those with a clean record deeper discounts.

Public Safety Minister Shirley Bond said she ordered the public auto insurer to “go back to the drawing board and rethink the options” for major reforms to the rate structure.

Bond said any hike in premiums from a single speeding ticket – which ICBC originally intended – is “not reasonable” but left the door open for changes based on driving records, rather than just at-fault claims.

ICBC president and CEO Jon Schubert said the corporation didn’t adequately communicate the planned changes.

“We apologize for the concern this caused,” Schubert said. “We’re going to take a step back and rethink the options for a reasonable way to share risk, and we’ll do a much better job of gathering public input.”

Province-wide consultations are promised on a range of options.

ICBC had said it intended to make drivers pay more for insurance if they have any traffic tickets within the previous three years. That was expected to raise the costs for 30 per cent of drivers, while about two-thirds would pay less.

Bond said she agrees with the goal of giving safer drivers lower rates, but defining a high-risk driver as having one speeding ticket was not acceptable to her or the public.

“In the course of their work, ICBC made a determination that they had had some minimal consultation, talked about the use of a single speeding ticket, none of which had been discussed with government,” Bond said.

“And obviously, the general public didn’t think that was such a good idea either.”

She said the B.C. Utilities Commission will still have the final say on rate changes before they take effect.

One of the cost pressures ICBC has is that while the number of accidents in B.C. is declining, the cost of personal injury settlements continues to rise.

 

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