B.C. drivers will be paying 4.9 per cent more for ICBC insurance.

ICBC rates to go up by 4.9 per cent

The provincial government directed the rate approval for next year.

Those who insure their vehicles in B.C. will see a rate increase for basic insurance of 4.9 per cent.

The provincial government has directed the B.C. Utilities Commission to approve the rate for next year for ICBC, but it wants to make sure that in the long term, the rates are in line with inflation.

Transport Minister Todd Stone told reporters in a conference call that he acknowledges an increase of nearly five per cent year-over-year is not affordable for most families.

“I’ve heard the message loud and clear that people are worried about the increasing cost of living,” he said.

The minister announced the government has launched a third-party review to make recommendations that will keep auto insurance rates affordable in the long term.

Stone said the goal is to put British Columbia drivers first and for the Insurance Corp. of B.C. to manage its cost pressures and bring rate increases closer to the inflation rate.

He said the review will look at the entire spectrum of the insurer’s operations to come up with as many solutions as possible for reducing cost pressures.

“We can’t keep doing things the same way and expect a different outcome, so we’re prepared to change,” Stone said.

The minister said the government does not intend to move to a privatized model of insurance through this review.

The insurance provider has already begun the process to prepare for the review, and the third party is expected to be selected in the new year.

Stone said the aim is to have results of the review ready by early next summer to be able to effect the insurance provider’s next round of rate filing that is due in August.

The third-party review comes as the frequency and severity of injury claims jumped, while the average cost of vehicle claims increased by 17 per cent between 2014 and 2015.

The province announced earlier this year that it would be doubling basic premiums for high-priced luxury vehicles and clamping down on fraud with a new detection tool.

ICBC is the province’s public auto insurer and almost all drivers in the province must purchase basic auto insurance for their vehicle through the corporation.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

Thrilling finish to 59th All Native Tournament

Kitamaat, Hydaburg, Port Simpson and Kitkatla win championships in 2018 All Native Tournament

Day 6 from the All Native Basketball Tournament

Scores from Feb. 16 and finals matchups at the All Native Tournament in Prince Rupert, B.C.

Day 5 of the All Native Basketball Tournament

Scores from Feb. 15 at the All Native Tournament in Prince Rupert

Queen Charlotte voters test sewage plan ahead of Feb. 24 referendum

Comparing Martynuik Road site and Skidegate tie-in a key issue at council Q & A

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Rules reviewed to keep drug money out of B.C. real estate

Investigator looking at loans as well as casinos, David Eby says

Most Read