B.C. drivers will be paying 4.9 per cent more for ICBC insurance.

ICBC rates to go up by 4.9 per cent

The provincial government directed the rate approval for next year.

Those who insure their vehicles in B.C. will see a rate increase for basic insurance of 4.9 per cent.

The provincial government has directed the B.C. Utilities Commission to approve the rate for next year for ICBC, but it wants to make sure that in the long term, the rates are in line with inflation.

Transport Minister Todd Stone told reporters in a conference call that he acknowledges an increase of nearly five per cent year-over-year is not affordable for most families.

“I’ve heard the message loud and clear that people are worried about the increasing cost of living,” he said.

The minister announced the government has launched a third-party review to make recommendations that will keep auto insurance rates affordable in the long term.

Stone said the goal is to put British Columbia drivers first and for the Insurance Corp. of B.C. to manage its cost pressures and bring rate increases closer to the inflation rate.

He said the review will look at the entire spectrum of the insurer’s operations to come up with as many solutions as possible for reducing cost pressures.

“We can’t keep doing things the same way and expect a different outcome, so we’re prepared to change,” Stone said.

The minister said the government does not intend to move to a privatized model of insurance through this review.

The insurance provider has already begun the process to prepare for the review, and the third party is expected to be selected in the new year.

Stone said the aim is to have results of the review ready by early next summer to be able to effect the insurance provider’s next round of rate filing that is due in August.

The third-party review comes as the frequency and severity of injury claims jumped, while the average cost of vehicle claims increased by 17 per cent between 2014 and 2015.

The province announced earlier this year that it would be doubling basic premiums for high-priced luxury vehicles and clamping down on fraud with a new detection tool.

ICBC is the province’s public auto insurer and almost all drivers in the province must purchase basic auto insurance for their vehicle through the corporation.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Summerland auxiliary raised $1M for hospital tower

Funds came from sales at Summerland Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop

Musical eclectic mix coming to Penticton Art Gallery

Ross Douglas is bringing his unique musical talents to the Penticton Art Gallery

Air Canada schedule changing out of Penticton, at least for the summer

Air Canada released their updated schedule out of the Penticton airport on Thursday

Lifesaving naloxone training to take place in South Okanagan

Oliver, Osoyoos, Keremeos and Princeton will be locations of free public sessions

Petition urges limits on retail cannabis stores in Summerland

Ban on downtown stores, increased regulations in other areas proposed

VIDEO: Are you concerned about Facebook leaking personal information?

Local Okanagan Facebook users speak on the social platform’s privacy settings

Memorial bench for young South Okanagan woman who died was stolen

Someone stole the stone bench that was placed at a walking bridge across the creek

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

May the fourth be with you for Okanagan Comic Con

Second annual event expected to draw hundreds of characters

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

VIDEO: Large dust devil swirls through downtown Chase

Residents look on as column climbs about 90 feet into the air

Okanagan city caps downtown cannabis retail applications

Four currently approved, two more coming, moratorium in place, reviewed after 12 months

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Helevorn comes to Kelowna on first Canadian tour

The Spaniards will bring their brand of doom metal to Kelowna May 11

Most Read