Legislation brings more auto insurance options for British Columbians

    VANCOUVER, June 1 /CNW/ - Canada's private home, car and business
insurers welcome new legislation that comes into effect today. Bill 93,
adopted in 2003, aims to clearly separate basic insurance from optional
insurance products to give British Columbia drivers more options regarding
their insurance coverage.
    Bill 93 ensures that optional insurance policies sold by private insurers
and ICBC are governed by the same legislation and regulations, thus promoting
a level playing field. Prior to Bill 93, ICBC and private insurers were ruled
by two separate acts. For consumers, Bill 93 will allow for more flexibility
to find more competitive optional insurance packages for their auto insurance.
    "The provincial government has taken positive measures to bring more
options to drivers," said Lindsay Olson, Vice-President, British Columbia and
Yukon, Insurance Bureau of Canada. "Drivers should now be in a better position
to compare the cost of their optional insurance coverage and find the one that
is best suited for their needs and budget. Competition and choice have already
been beneficial for B.C. drivers with private insurers helping drive optional
insurance rates downward."
    While Bill 93 brings positive changes to the auto insurance landscape in
British Columbia, ICBC's monopoly on mandatory coverage remains unchanged.
    "Bill 93 is a step in the right direction, but there is much more that
can be done to bring healthy competition into the B.C. insurance market," said
Olson. "B.C. drivers are still paying among the highest basic auto-insurance
rates in Canada. If the B.C. government opened the market to other insurance
companies, motorists would be able to shop around for lower insurance rates."
    Insurance Bureau of Canada will monitor the implementation of Bill 93 and
its enabling regulations to ensure that the government's stated goal of more
competition and choice for B.C. drivers is not impeded by ICBC's continued
monopoly on basic insurance.

    Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association for the
private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents insurers who
provide more than 90 percent of the non-government home, car and business
insurance in Canada. To view news releases and information, visit the media
section of IBC's website at www.ibc.ca.

For further information:

For further information: Lindsay Olson, (604) 684-3635

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