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

PHOTO GALLERY: Malicous Monster Truck Tour

The Malicious Monster Truck Tour sold out to crowds of 2,500 people… Continue reading

North Coast fishing grounds key to orca recovery: DFO

Plan marks waters from Langara to Rose Spit as critical habitat for northern resident killer whales

Chris Green, mother of scouts, passes away

Green, who was born near Kitimat, spent more than 60 years volunteering with Scouts Canada

Intertidal Music Festival back for round two

More than 20 performances throughout the day at the North Pacific Cannery on July 21

Alberta man missing on Kitimat River found dead

Body found on July 11 after going missing on July 7

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Evacuation alert issued due to Dog Creek Trail Wildfire

An evacuation alert has been issued by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako… Continue reading

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

City orders largest Kinder Morgan protest camp to leave

Residents of Camp Cloud near the Trans Mountain work site have 72 hours to leave

Cougar shot outside Nanaimo Yacht Club

Police shot the animal in water at Nanaimo Yacht Club at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday

14-year-old pilot attempts to break Guinness World Record at B.C. airport

Mohd Shaikhsorab wants to become youngest pilot with fewest hours logged to fly solo

Most Read