VANCOUVER, BC, July 7, 2020 /CNW/ - Today, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) published an open letter to British Columbia Premier John Horgan, outlining the auto insurance industry's concern with Bill 11 – Attorney General Statues (Vehicle Insurance) Amendment Act, 2020. IBC also provided a list of legislative amendments to the government that, if implemented, would give consumers more choice and help to lower auto insurance rates in the province.
As currently designed, Bill 11 will further limit consumer choice, create new barriers to stifle the limited competition that currently exists in BC's optional auto insurance market, and risks driving other insurers out of BC's optional auto insurance market entirely.
As part of the move to a no-fault system, Bill 11 creates a new mandatory Basic Vehicle Damage coverage that is only available through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). This product will provide coverage for vehicle replacement and repair when a driver is not responsible for an accident. Today, these repairs can be covered by the third-party liability insurance of the driver responsible for an accident, which is open to choice and competition above ICBC's basic limits.
"Bill 11 will reduce what little choice drivers have in BC's optional auto insurance market," said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, IBC. "There is no rationale for this expansion of ICBC's monopoly over vehicle damage insurance. A better, more affordable auto insurance system would allow drivers to purchase this coverage from any insurer they choose."
IBC has suggested a number of amendments to Bill 11 that would provide consumers with choice in vehicle damage coverage – whether that coverage is mandatory or optional. This would make BC similar to the no-fault system in Quebec, where injury coverages are provided by the government insurer and vehicle damage coverages are provided by private insurers. Total premiums in Quebec (including the government's no-fault coverage) are $717 on average1, less than half the $1,500 that ICBC projects its no-fault insurance will cost.
If enacted, IBC's suggested amendments would create a more competitive market for vehicle damage coverage and, most importantly, would improve the affordability of this coverage over the long term. This would be particularly true if the government were to also remove the existing barriers to choice and competition in BC and provide all insurers with equal access to driver abstracts and provincial claims information.
"Under ICBC's monopoly, British Columbians pay more for auto insurance than anyone else in Canada," noted Sutherland. "Canada's private insurers want to help lower premiums in the province and are committed to working with the government to create a system that works for everyone."
- ICBC basic insurance currently provides coverage for $200,000 in third-party liability, accident benefits and uninsured motorist protection. Optional insurance provides excess third-party liability (above $200,000), as well as comprehensive and collision insurance.
- Today, vehicle damage claims are paid from the third-party liability coverage of the driver responsible for the crash. Bill 11's Basic Vehicle Damage Coverage will move this coverage under ICBC's basic policy and cover repairs when the driver is not at fault.
- Removing excess third-party liability coverage under no-fault will shrink the optional insurance market by up to 30%.
- Last year, BC drivers spent $2.9 billion on optional insurance, with $300 million of that being spent on policies with private insurers.
- In Quebec (a no-fault insurance province), drivers have full choice in who they purchase their vehicle damage coverage from – both mandatory and optional. Total annual auto insurance premiums (including the government's no-fault coverage) in that province are $717 on average, less than half the projected cost of ICBC's no-fault insurance ($1,500).
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.
P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 128,000 Canadians, pays $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.
For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @IBC_Pacific or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
1 2018, the most recent full-year available
SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada
For further information: Media Contact: Steve Kee, Director, External Communications, 416-841-5669, [email protected]