ICBC is asking to increasing basic insurances rates by 5.5 per cent.
If approved, the corporation says that would mean an average extra $3.70 per month.
It initially was proposing to raise rates by 6.7 per cent, but was able bring that down.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone says this was the best option.
“Government has allowed ICBC to move $450-million dollars from the optional insurance side of ICBC’s business to cover expenses on the basic insurance side. In doing so, ICBC was able to apply for a basic rate increase of 5.5 per cent.”
Stone says fraudulent and exaggerated claims are also the culprits behind rising rates, and added resources will take action to keep those numbers low.
But the proposed increase doesn’t sit well with the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
British Columbians pay some of the highest premiums in the country, and IBC’s Celyeste Powers is skeptical we’re not getting the best bang for our buck.
“With the lack of transparency, anyone with an interest kind of wants to see where these cost pressures are coming from, why we’re going to be paying more for auto insurance, it’s difficult to actually look into because the data is just isn’t there, it’s not provided.”
She says we’re losing out because we’re stuck with a public insurer.
“With this new rate increase, you are among the top two of highest premiums. At the same time the benefits on the government-run insurer side tend to be lower than on the competitive side.”
Powers says Nova Scotia and New Brunswick offer private insurance and have some of the highest customer satisfaction ratings and the lowest premiums in Canada, while ICBC has some of the lowest satisfaction ratings.