ICBC has applied for a rate freeze for basic insurance rates for the next two years, B.C. Premier David Eby announced Monday.
If approved, the latest extension to the basic rate freeze will amount to five years of no increases, Eby said.
Eby said the public insurer is maintaining current rates against a backdrop of surging global inflation.
The premier acknowledged ICBC has taken a “significant hit” to profits during the pandemic, with the corporation projected to lose $298 million this year alone, but officials say they will continue with the rate freeze because projections show that a volatile market incurring higher-than-normal costs will smooth out.
“We are putting forward an outlook of what we anticipate into the future,” said ICBC CEO Nicolas Jiminez. “Interest rates will come down, supply chain issues will resolve themselves, we’ll see vehicle and repair scenarios return to more normal patterns.
The rate freeze request must first be approved by the B.C. Utilities Commission before it goes into effect for another two years.
The B.C. government says it has provided direction to BCUC to ensure ICBC builds “sufficient capital reserves” to prepare for the rate freeze request.
Both say ICBC’s core business is “sound” despite the investment losses.
— Rob Shaw (@RobShaw_BC) December 12, 2022