British Columbia

British Columbians support higher insurance rates for bad drivers, says attorney general

David Eby says 30,000 people took a 20 minute survey in March about changing rules around vehicle insurance.

David Eby says 30,000 people have taken a 20 minute survey about changing insurance rules

Who do you consider to be a bad driver? Someone with the most speeding tickets, at fault accidents or a combination of both? (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

B.C.'s attorney general says he's impressed with the number of British Columbians who participated in a recent survey about changing auto insurance rules to have high-risk drivers pay more and low-risk drivers pay less.

"There is overwhelming support in the preliminary results I have seen for this proposal that we shift rates so higher risk drivers pay more for their share of costs," said David Eby while giving a speech to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.

From March 5 to April 5, Eby says more than 30,000 people took the survey called ICBC Rate Fairness.

The response will be used by the province to modernize the model ICBC uses to determine insurance rates, which is more than 30 years old.

"Right now, some drivers are paying more and others are paying less than the risk they represent," said the survey.

ICBC says high-risk driving behaviours contribute to nearly half (43 per cent) of all crashes that result in injuries or deaths in B.C. 

High-risk driving behaviours include:

  • Speeding.
  • Failing to yield.
  • Ignoring traffic control devices.
  • Following too closely.
  • And improper passing. ​

'Dumpster fire'

In January, it was made public that ICBC is facing large financial losses.

In February, Eby's government introduced reforms to the auto insurance system.

Those include the doubling of accident benefits, a limit on pain and suffering payouts for minor injuries and a new dispute resolution process for minor injury claims.

"And I would say that $2.2 billion over the last two fiscal periods suggests that this reform is long overdue," said Eby about ICBC's financial problems.

250% payout increase

Eby says the average claim amount paid by ICBC has increased by 250 per cent in 16 years.

He said the average in 2000 was $8,000, in 2016 the average amount was $30,000.

"It is not a sustainable increase," he said.

Eby says it's still unclear what the proportional increase will be around the idea that high-risk drivers should pay more.

Results from the survey are to be released by the end of April, while the new reforms are expected to be in place by April 1, 2019 said Eby.

With files from Susana da Silva.


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