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ICBC statement from Board Chair Barry Penner, Q.C.

January 12, 2017

Today, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) has officially approved ICBC's 2016 basic insurance rate.

This decision won't change the rates our customers have been paying for auto insurance renewals since the 4.9 per cent increase for basic insurance went into effect as of November 1, 2016. As noted previously, on average this means approximately $3.50 extra per month for basic insurance coverage.

Unfortunately, more crashes, more claims and more costs – both for injury claims and vehicle repairs – are putting upward pressure on rates.  This situation has created what some in the industry have called "a perfect storm" of cost pressures that ICBC and government have been working to minimize.

ICBC has heard and agrees with government that we need to provide our customers with fair and affordable rates in the long-run. As was announced last month, ICBC's board of directors is commissioning a third-party review to look for options to deal with the ongoing pressures on rates and keep future rate increases in line with the rate of inflation as much as possible. The terms of reference for this significant review will be finalized this month.

In the meantime, government and ICBC continue to work together to mitigate pressure on rates through the following measures:

    • Continuing to fight against distracted driving.

    • Focusing on stopping fraudulent and exaggerated claims.

    • Doubling the basic premiums on certain high value vehicles (personal vehicles worth more than $150,000) so the average ratepayer is not covering the cost of repairing those expensive, luxury cars.

    • Hiring 160 more front-line claims staff in 2016 with plans to hire another 180 additional claims staff by the end of the fiscal year to ensure our customers continue to receive good service as the number of claims continues to rise.

    • Reducing the number of ICBC employees making more than $150,000 per year by almost 50 per cent from 2014 to 2015.

    • Shrinking ICBC's executive team from 11 members in 2012 to just eight today; executive compensation is 46 per cent lower than it was in 2011.

    • Government directing ICBC to transfer money from the optional side of our business to our basic business to help keep rates low.

    • Government foregoing any dividend from ICBC for at least three years.

Barry Penner, Q.C.
Chair, ICBC board of directors