Drivers can expect the NDP government’s desired changes to ICBC’s basic premium rates as soon as next year, now that they’ve been approved by the B.C. Utilities Commission.
Last month, Attorney General David Eby announced the government was updating ICBC’s 30-year-old rate structure to shift costs to those most at risk of accidents, including an extra charge to cover new drivers and potential savings for seniors with a long history of safe driving.
Under the new model, ICBC will forgive one claim for customers with 20 years of driving experience, and no at-fault crashes in the past 10 years.
Once a claim has been forgiven, the customer will need 10 more years of crash-free driving to regain the ability to have another crash forgiven without rate increase.
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Owners with a learner using their vehicle will pay a premium for the additional risk, ranging from $130 to $230. Inexperienced drivers will also pay higher rates reducing as they record years of safe driving.
The proposal, which stated changes to the rate structure will “improve fairness in B.C.’s insurance system,” was reviewed by eight intervenors on behalf of the utilities commission. They could come into effect as soon as 2019.
BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson has criticized the change, saying ICBC’s performance does not stack up against private insurance and unfairly labels most motorists as “bad drivers” with high insurance rates.
- With files from Tom Fletcher