EDITORIAL: ICBC in need of competition

Proposed rate hike for auto insurance not acceptable from ICBC.

The latest proposal from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia is another clear indication that the Crown corporation is reaching the end of the road in its ability to properly serve the province’s motorists.

ICBC announced this month that it has notified the B.C. Utilities Commission that it plans to apply for a rate hike.

“What’s happened really is the economy has rebounded a lot faster than most people have expected. That’s put more cars on the road,” ICBC spokesman Mark Jan Vrem told the media, adding that an increase in body-injury claims as a result of wet weather.

While most, if not all, businesses would see an economic rebound and additional customers as cause for celebration, ICBC apparently sees it as a negative.

However, that stance leaves open a simple solution – if ICBC is troubled by an increase in drivers, perhaps the time has come to end the corporation’s monopoly on basic auto insurance coverage.

The latest news comes less than two months after Christy Clark’s Liberal government shot down ICBC’s proposal to increase insurance rates for drivers who receive as little as a single speeding ticket.

While those measures seemed excessive, they were imminently more fair than the proposal that will be put before the BCUC for consideration.

The corporation has steadily increased rates on at-fault drivers, but this latest proposed hike would take safe drivers along for the ride.

It’s time to see if private-sector  insurance companies can provide the service at a better value to the province’s drivers.

– Black Press