Issues and Activities

Call On The BC Government To Stop Forcing ICBC To Implement An Auto Insurance Scheme

Press Release



July 18, 2003

Consumers' Association Calls On The BC Government To Stop Forcing ICBC To Implement An Auto Insurance Scheme That Other Provinces Are Rejecting

OTTAWA, July 18 /CNW/ - The Consumers' Association of Canada yesterday released the first results from its forthcoming national study on auto insurance rates. "The good news for BC consumers is that the study shows British Columbia has rates that are 50% less than in Nova Scotia", said Mel Fruitman, President of the Association.

"The bad news for BC drivers is that the BC Government is bringing in changes that will force ICBC to implement a discriminatory rating system for optional insurance that is similar to that now being used in Nova Scotia". "Public auto insurance was implemented in British Columbia because consumers were fed up with the practices of private auto insurers", said Bruce Cran, head of the BC Branch of the Consumers Association. "Rates were sky high, people were not buying enough insurance because they couldn't afford it. This was the situation thirty years ago in British Columbia and this is the situation now in Nova Scotia."

Even the Premier of Alberta is fed up with private insurers and he has called for an auto insurance system based on a driver's record - like BC's. "The Premier of Alberta should be congratulated for recognizing that a BC style system delivers the fairest rates where the good drivers pay less and the bad drivers pay more", said Mr. Cran. "The Government of BC needs to explain why it wants ICBC to go backwards in time to adopt an Alberta type system that Alberta has now decided is unfair and plans on getting rid of?"

Alberta has recognized that high auto insurance rates are having a negative impact on that province's economic growth. "Low auto insurance rates are now part of BC's economic advantage and they should stay that way, especially with the need to attract young workers to build the facilities for the 2010 Olympics," said Mr. Cran. "Why would a young mobile construction worker move from Winnipeg to Vancouver when they would have to pay thousands more in auto insurance rates under ICBC's proposed new scheme?" said Mr. Cran.

Neither the BC Government nor ICBC have done any meaningful consultation with consumers about an issue that might see insurance rates for drivers with clean driving records go up by thousands of dollars. It's time they did.


For further information: Bruce Cran, (604) 454-7827