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

Nelson-area man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

West Kootenay highways a mess as heavy snowfall continues

‘Roads are very icy, people have to be patient and have to slow down’

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

How to decide what to vote for in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots are due at Elections BC on Friday, Dec. 7, at 4:30 p.m.

COLUMN: The People’s Party of Canada arrives in the Kootenays

‘The Conservative Party of Canada walked away from us,’ says organizer of Kootenay-Columbia and South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding associations

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

UPDATE: B.C. judge grants $10M bail for Huawei executive wanted by U.S.

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Famous giant tortoise DNA may hold fountain of youth: UCBO

After Lonesome George’s death he still provides clues to longer life

Most Read