Basic ICBC premiums to jump 11 per cent

Cut in optional rates to offset much of the pain for most B.C. motorists

Most motorists will pay ICBC about $27 more in premiums next year, but the bite will be deeper for those who opt only for basic insurance.

Basic premiums will rise $68 or 11.2 per cent per customer if the B.C. Utilities Commission approves the public auto insurer’s proposed rate hike.

Optional premiums will be $41 lower on average, or six per cent.

It reflects a continuing pattern of ICBC reducing the cost of its optional insurance – where it faces competition from private insurers – relative to the basic package, where it has a monopoly.

President and CEO Jon Schubert said the two rates should be looked at in combination, because most motorists buy all their coverage from ICBC.

The combined premium hike works out to an extra 2.1 per cent, lifting the average amount most motorists pay from $1,277 now to $1,304.

Individual rates vary depending on claims history, vehicle type, region of the province, years of experience and level of coverage.

“After four years of not having to increase our rates, we now unfortunately face a different reality,” Schubert said. “We’re not happy that we need to increase our rates but the majority of our customers will be paying just a few dollars more, on average, than they did in 2008.”

He said the drop in optional rates was possible mainly due to declining auto crime and damage claims.

Overall claims costs rose $200 million in the first nine months of 2011.

“We have seen increasing pressure, in particular, from bodily injury costs,” Schubert said.

Bodily injury costs are to hit $1.7 billion this year, up $350 million from five years ago.

Low interest rates due to the global economy have also pushed investment income down.

Just Posted

Rescued snowmobilers ill-prepared for emergency, Castlegar RCMP say

Two men rescued Wednesday night were not ready for overnight in back country

Police share more details on occupants and suspicious van in Fruitvale

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school on Feb. 19

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Trail RCMP seeking info on van near Fruitvale school

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school

Wife remembers B.C. man killed in possible case of mistaken identity

Rex Gill was in Kamloops working to support his family after oilfield job dried up

Kootenay man dies in crash near Sparwood

Accident occurred last night east of Sparwood, RCMP appealing for witnesses

New report calls for regulated heroin sales to curb B.C.’s overdose problem

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

VIDEO: Woman, off-duty cop in serious condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Most Read