ICBC withdraws controversial rate hike proposal
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia has withdrawn its controversial proposal to hike the insurance rates of drivers who get a speeding ticket or other moving violations.
According to a statement issued by the Crown corporation on Monday morning, the move follows a meeting with the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Shirley Bond, who told ICBC to ensure it applies a test of, "being reasonable - and a hike in premiums for a single speeding ticket is not reasonable."
"While the principles of a rate structure that differentiates between good drivers and bad drivers is worth considering, I've directed ICBC to go back to the drawing board and rethink the options," Bond was quoted in the statement.
ICBC's president and CEO Jon Schubert apologized for fumbling the proposal in the statement.
"We didn't do a good enough job of communicating with the public or with government about the changes we were considering, and we apologize for the concern this caused," said Schubert.
Proposal hit immediate opposition
The provincially-owned insurance company said Wednesday it plans to overhaul its rate structure to reward safe drivers and punish those with traffic violations. The penalties would cover all moving violations, including unsafe passing, following too close, and running a red light.
But the announcement immediately ran into opposition from both sides of the legislature with both the government and the opposition calling for ICBC to rethink the proposal.
ICBC says it will now undertake a provincewide consultation and rethink the proposal.
"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."
Details on where and how customers can provide feedback will be announced in the coming weeks.
"It is really important for us to get this right for our customers," said Schubert. "I want to assure customers that we will not recommend any changes without much broader consultation."