A Ferrari after a crash in Australia. A similar incident in B.C. resulted in an ICBC payout of nearly $800,000 for repairs. (Flickr)

Exotic cars aren’t a drain on ICBC, David Eby says

Auto body repairs, legal bills pushing up vehicle insurance rates

Payouts like that of nearly $800,000 to repair a crashed Italian sports car aren’t the problem for the Insurance Corporation of B.C., Attorney General David Eby says.

Eby wouldn’t comment on the pending court case over a 1990 Ferrari F40 whose driver is suing ICBC after it paid out $789,375 to repair it after struck a utility pole in Vancouver in 2012.

Asked about the case at the B.C. legislature Monday, the minister responsible for ICBC said there is still some work to do to protect drivers of ordinary cars from the high costs of repairing high-end vehicles, but the provincial auto insurer’s cost overruns aren’t due to fixing fancy sports cars.

“I’m assured that we’re at a place with luxury cars where they are now paying for themselves, plus profit for ICBC,” Eby said. “The situation that I’m concerned about, that I’ve asked ICBC to address, is where the person is not at fault in an accident and he’s driving a luxury car, where someone else hits that car and is covered by that person’s basic insurance, which is where I think the cost can really get out of control.”

The former B.C. Liberal government moved in 2016 to refuse to sell collision and other optional coverage to drivers with vehicles valued at more than $150,000, because of the high cost of repairs. They had to turn to private insurers, except for pickup trucks, recreational vehicles, collector cars and limousines.

With ICBC facing a loss of more than $1 billion this year, the main cost pressures are clear.

“The big costs driving ICBC right now are twofold,” Eby said. “One is auto body repair costs generally, which are up 30 per cent across the board for all vehicles, and legal costs related to minor injuries that we are capping and moving over into a separate system, not B.C. Supreme Court, while improving coverage for people in B.C. to get better through rehabilitation.”

RELATED: ICBC to cap pain and suffering payouts

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