Taking effect April 1, 2019, the changes include:
* A new limit of $5,500 on pain and suffering for minor injury claims. The cost of those claims has increased 265% since 2000. British Columbia is the last province in Canada to take this kind of action.
* The first major improvements in accident benefits in 25 years, dramatically increasing the care available for anyone injured in a crash, regardless of fault. The overall medical care and recovery cost allowance will be doubled to $300,000. This change will be made retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018, so it will effectively be in place to protect injured drivers and passengers immediately.
* An independent dispute resolution process for certain motor vehicle injury claims.
ICBC will be consulting with customers on major revisions to the corporation’s rate structure with the goal of ensuring good drivers pay less, and bad drivers pay more. The consultation will ensure rate structure changes are responsive to the interests of British Columbians and done with full transparency.
The British Columbia government is directing changes for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) to bring about an end to its financial crisis, while keeping rates affordable for B.C. drivers, Attorney General David Eby announced.
“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,” Eby said. “Today we start making the tough decisions that will stem ICBC’s losses, keep insurance affordable and provide enhanced care for people injured in automobile accidents. We’re going to make ICBC work for people again.”
ICBC was projecting a 2017-2018 net loss of $1.3 billion. B.C. drivers could face premium increases averaging $400 or more, if no action was taken.
“For too long, difficult decisions have been put off and growing financial problems at ICBC hidden from the public. The changes we’re initiating today will reduce ICBC’s claims costs by more than $1 billion every year, helping make it sustainable for decades to come,” Eby said.