Accident rates and ICBC injury payouts have risen sharply in B.C. in recent years. (Black Press files)

ICBC cash reserves fall below B.C. government requirements

Attorney General David Eby changes rules to allow rate increase to be considered

Rising crash claims and injury payouts have depleted the Insurance Corporation of B.C.’s cash reserves below the province’s standard, forcing the province to exempt the Crown corporation from the rules to allow reforms.

Attorney General David Eby said he eased the cash reserve regulations to allow ICBC to apply to the B.C. Utilities Commission for a rate increase it is already collecting, and possibly additional increases.

“The rule in B.C. is that ICBC has to have 100 per cent match between the amount of money they have in the bank and the claims they are aware of,” Eby told reporters at the B.C. legislature Wednesday. “ICBC doesn’t have that. They have about 54 cents in the bank for every dollar of claim that they’re aware of. So we had to change the rule in order to appear in front of the utilities commission to lay out the changes that we’re doing with ICBC to get it back on track financially.”

The province announced earlier this month cost-cutting changes that include a $5,500 limit on payouts for pain and suffering claims, to take effect in April 2019.

In 2013, ICBC had $1.45 in the bank for every dollar of claims, but the situation has eroded due to an 80 per cent increase in injury claim costs in the past seven years.

RELATED: ICBC to cap injury payouts to stem losses

Eby intends to present legislation this spring to limit minor injury payouts, and also double the maximum benefit for serious injury claims from $150,000 to $300,000. With cost-containing measures a year away, it is not yet clear how much insurance rates will have to rise as ICBC estimates a $1.3 billion shortfall for the current year.

A 6.4 per cent increase in basic insurance took effect on an interim basis in November, with an additional increase to optional insurance resulting in an eight per cent jump in cost for vehicle owners who get both types of coverage from ICBC.

A consultant’s report released last summer suggested that ICBC rates could go up 30 per cent by 2019 if changes are not made.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon RCMP take more fentanyl off street

Two Vernon men arrested after home searched and drug trafficking paraphernalia found

Directors contemplate Regional District of North Okanagan recycling motions

Trio of motions one step away from Regional District of North Okanagan adoption

Vernon RCMP’s most wanted

Five individuals sought by Vernon-North Okanagan police detachment

Vernon electronics theft linked to Kelowna incident

Electronics were stolen from London Drugs in Vernon Dec. 11

Okanagan College unlocks time capsule

Items placed in 1993 and kept in capsule in library opened at special ceremony

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

White: Don’t be a Scrooge like me

It gets to the point where you simply can’t avoid Christmas no matter how hard you try.

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Avalanche control scheduled tomorrow on Highway 1 east of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled along Highway 1 on Dec 15. From… Continue reading

Vernon’s Thunder and Lightning hit hard

Ringette girls rule against Westide, West Kelowna and in Langley

Bird count takes flight in North Okanagan

Vernon and area residents invited to watch for feathered friends Dec. 16

Most Read