ICBC applying for 5.5% increase to insurance rates

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ICBC issued a press release today stating they are submitting an application to the BC Utilities Commission, and will be asking for a 5.5% increase in basic insurance rates. Earlier, there was talk that the rates could be increased to 6.7%.

The corporation says that if this approved, the increase will average to about $3.70 extra per month of basic insurance coverage for a vehicle.

Optional extended third-party liability coverage – plus collision and/or comprehensive insurance – would be an additional $1.30 per month (a total of an extra $5 per month for their full basic and optional coverage).

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“In the best interest of our customers, we have worked alongside government during the last few weeks to identify strategies to help lower both this year’s rate increase and to attempt to help alleviate the expected ongoing pressure injury claims will continue to put on insurance rates in future years,” said Mark Blucher, president and CEO of ICBC, in a press release.

Blucher says almost all customers are honest, but fraudulent claims are becoming a bigger and bigger issue for insurers.

“ICBC is increasing its resources to help better prevent exaggerated and fraudulent claims, which includes moving forward with the adoption of a new fraud analytics tool in early 2016,” the press release states.

“The tool will use data, algorithms and statistical methods to help quickly flag patterns and high predictors of fraud at the beginning of the claims process.”

This afternoon, Minister of Transportation and Infrastruture Todd Stone issued a release about these proposed increases.

“While I’m disappointed that the proposed Basic rate increase for this coming year could not be lower, ICBC is facing serious cost pressures as a result of the complexity, frequency and severity of bodily injury claims. Last year, bodily injury costs totalled over $2.17 billion, up nearly 10% in one year, and this trend continues to grow.

“Fraudulent and exaggerated claims are also affecting the cost of Basic auto insurance. ICBC has already begun to take action against fraud by increasing its resources to target fraud prevention. These expanded resources will include better fraud detection tools and an increased focus on prosecuting those who commit fraud.

ICBC’s bodily injury claims costs, which cover payouts for pain and suffering, future care and loss of wages, topped $2 billion in 2014.

They expect those costs to reach $2.3 billion in 2015 – an increase of 64% and $900 million since just 2008.


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