The British Columbia Utilities Commission has approved ICBC’s application for a 6.3 per cent rate hike on an interim basis.
The increase will apply for all new and renewal policies with an effective date on or after April 1, 2019.
ICBC applied for the increase in December while B.C. Attorney General David Eby continues to address ICBC’s financial losses. Eby said in November that ICBC was set to lose $890 million in 2018-2019, following a $1.3 billion net loss in 2017-18. Eby has criticized the previous B.C. Liberal government for ignoring ICBC’s financial problems and keeping them hidden from taxpayers.
According to ICBC, injury claims costs have soared by 43 per cent in just five years, totalling roughly $3.67 billion in 2018 alone.
“The approval of ICBC’s basic rate change on an interim basis is consistent with past applications and will lessen the depletion of ICBC’s already low basic insurance capital while the BCUC reviews the full application,” ICBC said in a release.
A British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) will review the increase and decide whether or not it becomes permanent. If there is a change, BCUC will determine how any difference between the approved interim rate and permanent rate will be refunded or collected at the time of its final decision.
A timeline of the regulatory review process can be found here. The public can participate in the process by requesting intervener status, submitting a letter of comment or registering as an interested party.
The B.C. government has brought in some changes to reform ICBC, including a $5,500 limit on payouts for minor injuries, higher fines for repeat bad drivers and an independent dispute resolution system.
With files from the CBC