ICBC better option

Some people have called for ICBC to be privatized, in the hopes of achieving lower premiums.

I am compelled to comment on the matter of ICBC. Some people have called for ICBC to be privatized, in the hopes of achieving lower premiums.

I suspect many of those wishing to privatize ICBC were not of driving age during pre-ICBC days, when all auto insurance was delivered by private insurance companies.

ICBC was founded because auto insurance had become a huge source of profit for private insurers. ICBC resulted in significant reductions in insurance costs as well as faster and more satisfactory settlement of insurance claims.  The popular concept of competition lowering prices was found to be a myth.

I had personal experience of private B.C. auto insurance companies, when my fully insured car was written off after an accident.

After weeks of trying to get fair compensation, I was forced to travel to head offices in Vancouver with pages of car advertisements in hand, showing I had been offered nothing like fair value for my car. Only after a personal presentation was I grudgingly given approximate value.

We have family in Alberta, where there is private insurance. They are very unhappy with their auto insurance. Problems with ICBC are due to lack of close government supervision, and government siphoning off of funds. But the concept is fine.

Be careful what you wish for. Private insurance will make you long for ICBC, believe me.  I’ve seen both.

R. Vincent Parsons

Qualicum Beach