B.C. attorney general delays ICBC’s rate application

B.C. attorney general delays ICBC's rate application
Tanya Fletcher / CBC
Attorney General David Eby says B.C. Government has directed ICBC to delay its rate application to the B.C. Utilities Commission until Feb., 2020.

The provincial government has delayed the insurance rate application ICBC makes annually B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC), saying the decision is due to years of mismanagement under the B.C. Liberals.

“After years of the previous government’s mismanagement of ICBC, British Columbians are paying too much for car insurance. We have much work ahead to get these costs down for families,” Attorney General David Eby said in a statement.

Eby said the government has directed the delay until February “in order to do the necessary financial analysis of two sets of planned reforms currently underway to help reduce costs, and by extension, car insurance rates.”

“First, we are working on reforms to respond to a recent court decision striking our limit on expert reports and associated costs. Second, we are working on additional reforms in the tort system that will help to reduce costs and have a positive impact on any required rate changes,” Eby said in a statement.

“We will not ask ICBC to put forward a 2020 rate application based on an incomplete financial picture. Instead, we will wait until that work is complete to ensure any rate changes are based on the actual costs anticipated in the year ahead.”

In February 2018, the province tried to stem ICBC’s financial bleeding, in part, by introducing caps on the number of expert witnesses testifying in injury lawsuits.

A recent court decision struck down those caps. But instead of appealing the decision, the B.C. government opted instead to legislate the changes.

Those changes made to B.C.’s Evidence Act limit the number of expert reports but also include a window of discretion that will allow judges to decide whether additional experts are needed in some cases.

With files from CBC 




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