‘Born out of crisis:’ Historic changes to B.C. car insurance kick in Monday

'Born out of crisis:' Historic changes to B.C. car insurance kick in Monday

WATCH:  Historic changes are coming to B.C. car insurance tomorrow. They’re in an effort to stem the massive financial losses suffered by ICBC, and Kori Sidaway has more on how this could affect you.

At the stroke of midnight, how ICBC approaches their claims, is set to change.

“It’s expected to save ICBC, and by extension, B.C. drivers, about a billion dollars a year,” said David Eby, B.C.’s Attorney General on Friday.

Come Monday, ICBC is putting a cap on compensation and will move small settlements from the courtroom to the web.

Following other province’s suit, if you’re in a crash after April 1st, and sustain minor injuries like whiplash, your maximum payout will be capped at $5,500.

But the big move is to unclog the courtrooms.

“Under the current B.C. Supreme Court system, people had to wait two years or more in order to resolve their disputes with ICBC,” said Eby.

Right now, all settlement disputes have to go through the BC Supreme Court, a process the government says is expensive and time-consuming. Both the province and British Columbians.

The average crash claim in 2012 was $8,000, but in 2016 the average claim had jumped to $30,000, and ICBC says 25 per cent of their annual costs are legal bills.

But with these changes, the auto insurer hopes to get back on financial track

“ICBC currently for the last three fiscal periods has lost about a billion dollars,” said Eby.

“We expect this measure will save a billion dollars a year.”

Instead of going through the Supreme Court, most claims will now go through an online Civil Resolutions Tribunal.

But feelings about the change, are mixed.

“Well I use a lot of online stuff, so probably a good idea,” said Victoria resident Bob Riggs.

“The old people kind of screwed out of it won’t they? They don’t even have emails or cellphones,” pointed out Cliff Leachman.

“It’s probably good because it will take away valuable court time,” said Rebecca Godin.

In addition to these adjustments, ICBC rates will increase by 6.3 per cent on Monday, which averages to a $7-10 monthly increase for most.

All combined, the province hoping the changes will help ICBC get back in the black.


Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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