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BC Ombudsperson poised to field complaints as new ICBC rates roll out

Last Updated Sep 3, 2019 at 8:17 am PST

FILE: Attorney General David Eby speaks about changes coming to ICBC during a press conference in the press gallery at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., in 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Summary

Driving experience and crash history will have a bigger impact how high premiums are

Vehicle-owners will have to list everyone who drives the car

The BC Ombudsperson can deal with complaints about how the rate was explained or calculated, but not the rate itself

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Renewing car insurance now that rule changes have taken effect means many drivers will be charged new rates, and that will likely lead to a lot of complaints.

BC Ombudsperson, Jay Chalke, says with such a big change, he expects his office will be busy.

“This is a substantial change for over 3 million vehicle owners in the province over the next year. So, whenever we see large scale changes being applied by public bodies in practice fairness issues always arise,” he says.

Attorney General David Eby, who is responsible for ICBC, has said the changes mean rates are going to increase for bad drivers — and by a lot. He has also promised most policy holders will see their premium go down under the new rules which came into effect Sept. 1st. Drivers in British Columbia pay the highest insurance premiums in the country.

Chalke wants drivers to know his office can’t change anyone’s rates.

“My office is here to look into issues of administrative unfairness, that means how policies are actually applied. Did they follow policy or legislation properly? Were decisions made fairly? Did people get adeqaute explanation of a decision that impacted them? Did they get proper notice? Do they have a decision that was adverse to them reviewed?”

He says if the way an insurance premium is calculated by ICBC was unfair or inadequately explained, he and his staff can help.

Complaints can be made online, by mailing or faxing in a form, or over the phone.