The use of demographics to punish large groups of auto insurance customers is immoral, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Insurance rates discriminatory

A basic human right has been taken from us to accommodate ICBC, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Premier John Horgan regrets big ICBC rate hikes for young people, Oct. 10.

Premier Horgan claims he will try to bring down ICBC rates. He should start with making ICBC comply with the law. We have human rights legislation in this country that prevents discrimination on the basis of age. The specific B.C. act says, “anyone aged 19 or older may not be discriminated against on the basis of age, in life, work or the delivery of service.” Clearly, that is exactly what ICBC does. How does it get away with it? Because the provincial government has added something in the small print – it is not discrimination if the government says so. In short, a basic human right has been taken from us to accommodate ICBC.

Insurance occurs when the premiums of many pay for the claims of the few. The risk all motorists share is the uncertainty of the future. Your age, the type of car you drive and where you drive it are immaterial. Nobody, including ICBC, can predict anyone’s future. The use of demographics – in other words, profiling – to punish large groups of drivers without cause is not only illegal, it is immoral.

And we do’t have to look far to find a better solution. Our health insurance does not use profiling to determine rates, nor does it punish anyone who uses the service. Nobody will face a premium increase because they have an appendectomy or a hip replacement. Seniors are not required to pay higher rates despite the fact that as a group they will rely more on those services than any other group.

ICBC cannot be ‘fixed.’ It must be replaced by a proper insurance regime that does not trample on our basic human rights.

Alan McPhee, Nanaimo

OPINION: We’ll see you when you turn 80

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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