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 ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.