ROTHENBURGER – Why is auto insurance higher than property taxes?

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

I’M NOW PAYING MORE for auto insurance than for property taxes.

I went in to renew the insurance on my vehicle and found the premium has gone up by $300 over the previous year.

Nothing has changed about my policy. Nobody else drives my vehicle so the new driver-based model doesn’t come into the picture.

I’d say my driving record is average: a few tickets over the years, a couple of parking-lot fender benders, and a tree that got in my way while backing down the driveway, that kind of thing. The only highway accident of record is when somebody rear-ended me at a stop light years ago.

I expect my premiums to gradually increase — I’m sure we all do — but this is ridiculous. I guess I should count myself lucky in comparison to the Lower Mainland student whose premium is higher than the cost of her $5,000 Volkswagen Rabbit.

I guess I should also be happy that my new premium is actually average for B.C. drivers.

However, I’m confused by an advertorial headlined, “How ICBC’s new insurance model will save you money.”

“The people of British Columbia spoke, the government listened,” the article begins.

It’s all about high-risk drivers paying more than low-risk drivers, it continues. Under the new rates, it says, 55 per cent of full-coverage customers will pay less than they did.

I’d like to see some proof. According to industry stats, B.C. drivers continue to pay the highest premiums in the country, significantly so.

For most people, owning a vehicle isn’t optional, it’s a must, especially if they live outside urban centres. Clearly, ICBC is in need of fixing, but these new insurance rates are a clear sign it’s still broken.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8247 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.

5 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – Why is auto insurance higher than property taxes?

  1. Mine actually went down $100.
    I figured out if you get collision/comprehensive/3rd liability from ICBC
    … its more $ than if you got these extras from a 3rd party company,
    if you have 35+ years claim free.
    I’m definitely on the privatisation side.
    Treating any property insurance, like our health care insurance, cant work.
    Its a competitive product market, and needs to be such.

  2. Don Drysdale // November 5, 2019 at 10:20 AM // Reply

    So we got screwed by the Liberals and now it carries on with the NDP. Proof positive that the government cannot run ICBC. CEO salaries through the roof there, bonuses for showing up and well showing up. Patronage appts. by both sides. A referendum on ICBC should be held as part of the next election and ask the question if it should be privatized.

  3. Beverley Campbell // November 5, 2019 at 8:59 AM // Reply

    Nothing, absolutely nothing has changed as regards ICBC, except for the level of hatred emanating from the general public, this poisoned at the core crown corporation must be completely dissolved, and re started with the people in mind, not the mid-level managers and their bonuses in mind.

  4. Remember the old BC Liberal claim that they were the only party which would keep your taxes low? They did it by systematically stripping revenues and assets out of profitable Crown Corporations like ICBC and by running g a deliberate policy of delaying or avoiding all but the most essential maintenance on B.C. Ferries; by allowing public sector wages to stagnate, underpaying nurses and teachers and then slapping user fees on every imaginable government service. Seventy Five bucks to renew a driver’s license?!!! The chickens have come home to roost. They always do. If you’re ever given a choice to pay now or pay later, pay now. It’s almost always the least expensive option.

  5. Higher than property taxes? Not for me, lucky I guess! But making new drivers pay a much higher premium right off the bat is an asinine decision. New drivers are not necessarily a “higher liability”…guilty until proven innocent? I don’t think so.

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