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ICBC handed deadline to release predictions of future basic rates

Last Updated Nov 22, 2016 at 7:55 am PDT

(Dustin Godfrey, NEWS 1130 photo)

The crown corporation applied for a basic rate hike of 4.9 per cent earlier this year

Independent regulator wants more information, but ICBC won't release future rate predictions

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia is refusing to reveal its predictions for what you’ll be paying for basic auto insurance in the years ahead, despite a demand from the independent regulator that approves rates.

The BC Utilities Commission says it wants more information after ICBC applied for a 4.9 per cent rate hike earlier this year — specifically what the insurer projects will happen with rates over the next four years.

ICBC has refused, saying the information is confidential and that speculation “could be taken out of context” by the public.

NDP critic Adrian Dix is blasting ICBC for withholding the predictions.¬†“ICBC is 100 per cent owned by the public and 100 per cent of BC drivers buy basic auto insurance from it. ICBC has an obligation to tell the truth to the Utilities Commission,” Dix tells NEWS 1130. “The Liberal government and ICBC are essentially trying to avoid telling people the consequences of Premier Christy Clark’s policies at the insurer over the last few years. They drained the capital account and this means there is no protection for motorists from massive Liberal rate increases in the future,” he says.

ICBC has been given a deadline of 4:30 p.m. tomorrow to release its projections to the commission and Dix believes the public will get a better idea of the impact of the government’s transfers from ICBC’s coffers.

“They have scooped $1.3 billion from ICBC’s capital reserves. Only one premier has ever taken money out of ICBC’s capital fund. The reason motorists are facing potentially massive rate increase is because the Liberal government changed the law to allow themselves to do this and now Premier Clark has done it.”

The crown corporation requested 4.9 per cent rate hike would add $3.50 a month to the average auto insurance bill, or $42 a year. The insurer says the increase is needed to cover rising costs from crashes, claims, injuries and settlements.