ICBC defends its rates in the province

It's hard to compare auto insurance province to province because systems, demographics, roads and coverages vary

Re: John Harding’s editorial in the Feb. 24 edition of The NEWS (‘ICBC’s monopoly’).

While comparisons between provinces are common, there is no way to really compare auto insurance rates from one province to another as the systems, demographics, roads and coverages vary widely.

We know some provinces offer lower-priced auto insurance, but others offer higher-priced auto insurance — including some provinces with private auto insurance.

However, the conversation should not just be what you pay for your auto insurance, but what coverage you get in return. For example, our customers’ medical and rehabilitation benefits are much higher than those offered in many other provinces, including those with private insurance. B.C. also operates with a full tort system, meaning you can claim for settlements, including pain and suffering and wage loss, against the at-fault driver—something no other province offers to the same extent.

What Parksville residents pay in insurance premiums per year compared to the amount invested in road safety improvements near their community isn’t a fair comparison.

The primary purpose of ICBC insurance is to provide coverage in the event of a crash.

That ICBC invests millions in road improvements in partnership with B.C. communities — $7.7 million in 2014 alone — is one of the benefits of having a public auto insurer. Private auto insurers rarely, if ever, invest their profits in road improvements.

Since 2012, ICBC has invested more than $85,000 in road improvements and studies in partnership with the City of Parksville — in addition to $117,000 in highway improvements in the Parksville area.

Whether a road improvement is made within Parksville, near Parksville, or as far away as Fort St. John, your community benefits.

For every dollar we invest in a road improvement, our customers see a rate of return at least five times that investment – helping to keep rates as low as possible for every ICBC customer.

Steve Yendall, VP, Insurance and Driver Licensing, ICBC

North Vancouver

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