Accident rates and ICBC injury payouts have risen sharply in B.C. in recent years. (Black Press files)

ICBC cash reserves fall below B.C. government requirements

Attorney General David Eby changes rules to allow rate increase to be considered

Rising crash claims and injury payouts have depleted the Insurance Corporation of B.C.’s cash reserves below the province’s standard, forcing the province to exempt the Crown corporation from the rules to allow reforms.

Attorney General David Eby said he eased the cash reserve regulations to allow ICBC to apply to the B.C. Utilities Commission for a rate increase it is already collecting, and possibly additional increases.

“The rule in B.C. is that ICBC has to have 100 per cent match between the amount of money they have in the bank and the claims they are aware of,” Eby told reporters at the B.C. legislature Wednesday. “ICBC doesn’t have that. They have about 54 cents in the bank for every dollar of claim that they’re aware of. So we had to change the rule in order to appear in front of the utilities commission to lay out the changes that we’re doing with ICBC to get it back on track financially.”

The province announced earlier this month cost-cutting changes that include a $5,500 limit on payouts for pain and suffering claims, to take effect in April 2019.

In 2013, ICBC had $1.45 in the bank for every dollar of claims, but the situation has eroded due to an 80 per cent increase in injury claim costs in the past seven years.

RELATED: ICBC to cap injury payouts to stem losses

Eby intends to present legislation this spring to limit minor injury payouts, and also double the maximum benefit for serious injury claims from $150,000 to $300,000. With cost-containing measures a year away, it is not yet clear how much insurance rates will have to rise as ICBC estimates a $1.3 billion shortfall for the current year.

A 6.4 per cent increase in basic insurance took effect on an interim basis in November, with an additional increase to optional insurance resulting in an eight per cent jump in cost for vehicle owners who get both types of coverage from ICBC.

A consultant’s report released last summer suggested that ICBC rates could go up 30 per cent by 2019 if changes are not made.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

New look and feel on the horizon for Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

“We are hoping between now and then to do another fundraising campaign for acoustics”

North Island Bantam Eagles capture Tier Three banner with win over Powell River Kings

The Eagles next game is Jan. 19 against the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies at 4:00 p.m. in Port McNeill.

Mainroad meets with Regional District of Mount Waddington

“It was really nice to have Mainroad there to give a presentation to the RD”

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Most Read