John Rustad has warned of vehicle insurance rates that are expected to rise in the next year.
The Nechako Lakes MLA spoke about the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC)’s new cost structure during a village meeting in Granisle on Oct. 16.
“As you renew your insurance over the next year you’ll see the shift. It’s a pretty big shift,” he said.
Rustad gave an example of a trucking company he knows in Fort St. James that owns a few trucks and that recently hired a new driver who had only two weeks driving experience.
“He put insurance on his old gravel truck. His insurance for putting that truck on the road went from about $230 a month to $470 a month. Now he’s wondering, ‘Do I put my new driver on those other four trucks as well when I renew the insurance there and drive up the costs?’”
“It’s going to be pretty tough on a lot of folks. Particularly young, inexperienced drivers and seniors in terms of your rates, as well as for anyone who has had an accident or an issue over time,” he said.
Since the new rate system with renewals came in on Sept. 1, the results have raised eyebrows, including from Premier John Horgan.
Earlier in October, Horgan acknowledged that the higher rates for young drivers are a problem and said the government was working to lower them.
The new system marks a shift to a private sector model that puts higher premiums on categories of drivers deemed as high-risk.
Attorney General David Eby said young drivers have seen their rates rise by as much as 12 per cent for basic insurance, as Black Press reported.
Eby also said that he supports more competition among private insurers to give drivers more choice and to bring down rates.
In response, ICBC vice-president Aaron Sutherland said that in British Columbia ICBC keeps driver records and their claims data and won’t share it.
“They know that if other insurers could get access to this, they could better price. You would have more insurers coming to B.C., and you would start to see ICBC’s market share get whittled away.”
In Granisle, Rustad said people should scrutinize ICBC’s policies more closely.
“It’s time we have a full look at all options. We should be doing some comparison to see if the Crown corporation is doing the job it should be doing.”