The B.C. Government will be pushing forward legislation in the coming weeks to lower ICBC premiums, claiming rates will drop by 20% and represent $400 in savings per driver.
According to the B.C. Government, they are “transforming” ICBC by removing lawyers and legal costs from the system to reduce rates, and bolster benefits.
“You shouldn’t need a lawyer to access the benefits you’ve paid for,” said David Eby, Attorney General. “By removing expensive lawyers and legal fees from the system, we are making ICBC work for British Columbians again with more affordable insurance rates and much better coverage, so anyone injured in a crash gets the care they need.”
“It’s time for change at ICBC,” added Premier John Horgan. “The old government ignored ICBC’s problems, allowing it to become a system that made lawyers rich, while drivers paid too much for insurance.”
The B.C. Government is proposing that by eliminating the need for lawyers, they can remove more than $1.5 billion in the first full year of the changes, which will be passed on to ICBC customers in the way of lower insurance rates. Along with the proposed decrease in rates, maximum care and benefits will increase to at least $7.5 million for anyone injured in a crash.
The planned legislation from the B.C. Government would also require ICBC to assist every person that makes a claim and ensure they receive all of the care and benefits they are entitled too, by putting it into law. Customers that have disputes about their claim, payments, or issues can now access the Civil Resolution Tribunal or the B.C. Omdusperson, which are independent of ICBC, or they can access the ICBC Fairness Officer, a new position that will be appointed by the government.
According to the B.C. Government, there will be no basic rate change in 2020 as ICBC begins the transition to the new “care-based model” with the 0% basic rate change coming into effect April 1, 2020. The Province claims that without significantly changing ICBC, rates would have had to increase 35% over the next five years.
More: ICBC Auto Insurance Changes (ICBC)
The legislation for the new ICBC system would take effect May 1, 2021, if approved in the B.C. Legislature.