ICBC will be undergoing some major changes by May 2021.
“We did one round of reforms to ICBC to turn around the billion-dollar losses… but, what it didn’t do was lower rates,” admitted Attorney General for British Columbia, David Eby.
The new ICBC model will increase current benefits from $300,000 dollars to $7.5, and lower rates for residents by about 20%.
Currently, the average British Columbian pays $1900 a year in car insurance, which will be reduced to about $1500 under the new system.
The reform spells the end of ICBC’s current litigation-based mindset.
“For ICBC it ends the role of them defending at-fault drivers in court, and going after people who have been injured in a crash saying they’re not entitled to benefits or not as injured as they claim to be,” said Eby.
At-fault drivers will still have their rates raised based on driving habits, and victims will still be able to sue criminally responsible drivers.
Eby maintained that the Provincial Government has already considered the concern that the removal of lawyers would leave ICBC declawed and subject to fraud:
“I think the new system will significantly reduce the potential for fraud. People typically don’t commit fraud to get lifetime physiotherapy treatments.”
The ‘new’ ICBC, will effectively eliminate cash pay-outs for those injured in minor accidents, instead directly paying service providers to cover costs related to physiotherapy and other medical treatments.
However, cash will still be awarded to those who are severely injured and may require money to care for themselves or maintain their quality of life.
“The government has really tried, through this reform, to respond to the people who are just trying to live their lives with peace-of-mind through their car insurance, and who want to pay affordable rates,”
“It wasn’t ideology. We never thought ‘we can’t privatize’ or ‘we can’t look at competition’ we looked at everything equally,” Eby concluded.