VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The BC government is taking immediate action to raise insurance premiums for bad drivers following a round of public consultation involving 35,000 people who provided feedback.
The NDP says it’s a first step to improve rate fairness for everyone.
It has asked ICBC to bring forward increases to the Driver Risk Premium program, which includes excessive speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving.
It will result in penalty amounts increasing by 20 per cent in the first year, and another 20 per cent the next year. There is also a move to change the Driver Penalty Point system.
“Changes to our auto insurance rating system are long overdue,” says Attorney General David Eby, who previously described the financial situation at ICBC as a “dumpster fire.”
“The responses from the ICBC rate fairness engagement indicate the majority of British Columbians favour changes that will make insurance more affordable for low-risk drivers and see high-risk drivers pay increased insurance premiums to better reflect the risks they represent.”
- 82.3 per cent of British Columbians believe risky drivers should pay more
- The option to pay back claims should be changed (currently, customers can repay vehicle damage claims and not have their premiums affected)
- A driver-based system would be more fair, as insurance rates would be tied to drivers, rather than vehicle owners
- Driving convictions should play a greater role on premiums
Eby adds the changes are about making sure drivers pay the appropriate amount that reflects their driving behaviour.
The government admits feedback was mixed when it came to the exact penalty amount drivers should pay if a crash is caused by an unlisted driver, as well as whether “distance driven should play a greater role in determining insurance rates.”
The BC Utilities Commission will have to approve these proposed increased. Once they are given the green light, Victoria says future penalty program premium increases are expected to align with any future basic insurance rate changes.
“While moving quickly to implement changes for dangerous driving, we are also using this feedback to inform additional changes in the coming months to help make rates more fair for drivers,” explains Eby.
BC drivers last saw a rate increase go through in November of 2017.