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Province set to announce new ICBC rates; Liberals say it's time for a rethink at the insurer

Last Updated Dec 13, 2018 at 7:06 am PST

(Photo by Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)
Summary

Andrew Wilkinson says other options need to be considered, says ICBC 'is not working anymore.'

The province is expected to announce new ICBC rates on Thursday or Friday, as the insurer records more losses

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – You may soon be paying more for auto insurance in British Columbia.

Attorney General David Eby is expected to announce the new ICBC premiums either today or tomorrow.

As he prepares to do so, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson says it’s time to consider making some big changes.

“Let’s look at other options. Let’s look around the world and see what’s the best way to do it, because ICBC is not working anymore.”

Despite the fact the Liberal Party was in government for 16 of the past 17 years, Wilkinson says the financial problems at the public insurer are the NDP’s fault.

“ICBC rates have gone through the roof in the last couple of years because claims took off in 2016. We put forward the plan that was to examine ICBC in 2017. The NDP picked it up and they’ve done precious little with it except watch our rates go up.”

It was only at the end of January that Eby described ICBC’s financial woes as a “flaming dumpster fire.”

Eby’s comments came as the province announced a hit of more than a billion dollars in April.

 

Just last month, ICBC posted a net loss of $582 million for the first six months of the fiscal year. It projected a year-end loss of $890 million.

The province has already announced some changes to step the insurer’s losses, however, Eby has admitted ICBC needs to find more way to reduce the escalating cost of claims.

ICBC’s president and CEO, Nicolas Jimenez, admitted in November that it has been a “challenging year”, due in part to a rising number of crashes that are costing the insurer more.

“We are actually going to have for the second year in a row the highest number of crashes in our history,” he told NEWS 1130.

Meantime, Wilkinson says the public insurer has been a monopoly for too long.

“ICBC’s been around for 45 years, the NDP had it for the first three years and for 10 years in the 90s. It hasn’t been fixed by anybody and it’s time to fix it. That’s what I’m promising to do.”

– With files from Lasia Kretzel