EDITORIAL – Blame the BC Liberals if/ when our ICBC premiums go up again

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

JUST FOR FUN, I dug out my file of auto insurance payments yesterday.

I’m now paying roughly 35 per cent more on insurance for my 13-year-old truck than when I bought it back in 2010.

That’s well above the rate of inflation, but nothing like the shock that might be coming down the road.

ICBC is looking at an operating loss of $1.3 billion in the fiscal year ending in March. That could mean huge premium hikes for you and me, possibly 20 per cent or more.

Media at the Coast have been all over the story in the past week of how the BC Liberals knew it was coming and did nothing about it when they were in power.

Drastic measures were recommended in an independent report back in 2014, including capping payouts for minor injuries and boosting premiums for distracted driving.

But several pages of tough recommendations were deleted from the final report before the Liberal government released it to ICBC.

BC Liberal leadership candidate Mike de Jong says the Liberals didn’t like the recommendations so there was no point in passing them along.

Fellow leadership candidate Todd Stone is reported as saying his Transportation Ministry never got a look at the report before it was redacted.

Sounds like the left hand didn’t know what the right was doing. Anyway, things went from bad to worse. Last fall, Attorney General David Eby announced premium increases and other measures but obviously they aren’t enough.

By the way, 2014 was the year an “angry” Todd Stone ordered ICBC to pay back $36 million it had overcharged customers because of computer problems. As it turned out, I was one of the ones who had underpaid, not overpaid, and technically owed them $356,  which was waived.

I have a feeling ICBC is going to get that money back very soon, and then some, all thanks to the BC Liberals not having the courage to face the political music when they had the chance.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops. He writes editorials for CFJC Today and publishes the website.

About Mel Rothenburger (8041 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

7 Comments on EDITORIAL – Blame the BC Liberals if/ when our ICBC premiums go up again

  1. It would be interesting to see how many government services ICBC now provides which are directly charged to the cost of our auto Insurance . The services where once provided by government and paid for by all taxpayers and then of course there is the dividend to the government which happens to be another charge against your auto insurance

  2. It is interesting that the amount they are short is in the ball park for the amount the BC Liberals forced ICBC to contribute to their balancing of the the provincial budget. Similar to the way they forced BC Hydro to pay dividends even when they were losing money.

  3. Jeez Mel ! I hope you’re not a closet Todd Stone fan.

  4. Isn’t there a fine if you are guilty of fraud? The Libs hide this report and then lied about it’s impact.Maybe the 1.3 billion should come out of their coffers???

  5. Too right, Todd Stone was the transportation minister, what does that say, if he did not read that report before it was redacted?

  6. ICBC is blaming the number and severity of crashes with the resulting claims as a big reason for the outpouring of money from the Corporation.
    In driver education (a long time ago), we were taught that speeding increasing the likelihood of cashes and the severity of injuries.
    Didn’t Minister Stone and his government increase speed limits while smiling for the cameras?

    The results are no surprise.

  7. I love these types of editorials.
    It has gusto, it identifies culprits and has some back-up facts.
    A prime example of what the media, generally, should be doing regularly.

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