“This government wants to assert that only ICBC can take care of you in the event of an injury in an accident and, therefore, ICBC should have a monopoly on this product. Good. But there is no reason why the ICBC should be the only game in town because it is a cover that guarantees that your car will be repaired after an accident, ”said Aaron Sutherland, vice president of the Bureau Insurance Company of Canada.
Bill 11 would reduce the limited choice available to drivers in the BC auto insurance market, he added.
In Quebec, injury coverage is provided by the government insurer, while vehicle damage coverage is provided by private insurers.
According to the insurance bureau, ICBC basic insurance currently covers $ 200,000 in civil liability, accident benefits and uninsured automobile protection.
Optional insurance offers excess civil liability – over $ 200,000 – as well as comprehensive and collision insurance.
Total premiums in Quebec – including government no-fault coverage – average $ 717 per year. It is less than half of the $ 1,500 that ICBC anticipates that its no-fault insurance will cost.
“Under the ICBC monopoly, British Columbians pay more for auto insurance than anyone in Canada,” adds Sutherland. “Canada’s private insurers want to help lower premiums in the province and are committed to working with the government to create a system that works for everyone.”
With the no-fault system in Quebec, he added, policyholders can choose from more than 50 different companies for vehicle coverage.
“We believe it’s a better system than the one we have here in British Columbia”
Claims for vehicle damage in British Columbia are currently paid out of the accident driver’s liability coverage.
Basic law 11 vehicle damage coverage would move that under the basic ICBC policy and would cover repairs if the driver isn’t at fault, says the insurance bureau.
“The removal of excessive liability coverage in the absence of fault will reduce the optional insurance market by up to 30%,” says the insurance bureau.
Last year, British Columbia drivers spent $ 2.9 billion on optional insurance, of which $ 300 million was spent on policies with private insurers.
In February, the province hinted that BC drivers could expect their insurance premiums to drop 20% next year as part of the move to a no-fault system.
Pressure from the insurance bureau comes as other stakeholders, including British Columbia trial attorneys, reject the idea of a no-fault insurance design.