ICBC basic insurance rates increase by 6.4 per cent today

ICBC basic insurance rates increase by 6.4 per cent today

ICBC basic auto insurance rates went up on Nov. 1. File photo. (David Horemans/CBC).

It is now more expensive to drive in British Columbia.

On Wednesday, ICBC basic insurance rates went up by 6.4 per cent, or an extra $57 a year for the average driver with basic coverage.

Increases of up to 9.6 per cent to the overall optional rate have yet to come into effect. B.C. Attorney General David Eby said the average driver can expect to pay an additional $130 per year, or 8 per cent more, once all the increases are in place.

READ MORE: ICBC seeks 6.4 per cent hike to basic auto insurance rates

The increases were announced in September after ICBC recorded its largest financial loss in history – more than half a billion dollars in one year.

The 6.4 per cent basic rate increase was lower than the 20 per cent hike recommended in the Ernst & Young report commissioned by the previous Liberal government and released to the public in July.

Eby said British Columbians should not have to pay for ICBC’s “mismanagement,” including a legislation change in 2010 that allowed the provincial government to take $1.2 billion from ICBC coffers and put it into general revenue.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said B.C. drivers pay for the second highest auto insurance in Canada. The federation also called for the province to end the “government monopoly of ICBC.

The B.C. government also announced in September that there would be new measures to improve ICBC’s operations and reduce accident rates. These include activating red-light cameras 24 hours a day, seven days a week, up from the current six hours per day, and starting a pilot project to evaluate distracted driving reduction technology.

The other actions to fix the public insurer crisis include launching an operational audit of ICBC, increasing public awareness of the risks of distracted driving through a new advertising campaign and introducing a dangerous roads initiative to identify and rapidly retrofit infrastructure, regulations and signage at dangerous roads and intersections.

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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