Help is at hand to save the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) from its current financial crisis.
The British Columbia government has announced a series of revisions to the provincial crown corporation, which will boost sustainability for ICBC and reduce cost for drivers.
“ICBC was created to provide affordable insurance to all B.C. drivers, but years of reckless decisions by the previous government have thrown the corporation into financial chaos,” said Attorney General David Eby. “We’re going to make ICBC work for people again.”
The decision was made following the revelation that ICBC suffered a net loss of $1.3 billion. Drivers in the province have also been watching their premiums skyrocket, and it was predicted that they could be paying upwards of $400 in the future if no action was taken.
“British Columbians can no longer afford to keep paying more and more for their auto insurance every year, and this is the decisive and immediate action which is needed to relieve the pressure on ICBC’s rates,” said Joy MacPhail, chair of the ICBC board of directors.
The first major improvement, coming into action immediately, will boost medical care for anyone injured in a crash, regardless of fault. Overall, the cost allowance for medical care and recovery has been doubled to $300,000 ensuring customers don’t have to pay out of pocket for a greater variety of treatment services.
Subsequent guidelines will take effect on April 1 2019 and include a new $5,500 limit on pain and suffering for minor injury claims, following a drastic 256% hike in expenditure for such claims since 2000.
Additionally, wage loss payments will double to $740 per week, along with home support benefits, which will now be $280 per week.
“We’re putting ICBC’s priority back where it should be — providing fair, affordable rates for British Columbians, and giving drivers peace of mind with appropriate care if they are in a collision,” Eby concluded.