Calling bull on ICBC

In its recent editorial, ICBC is defending its new $50 fee for unlisted driver protection by arguing that this is "common practice across North America and beyond" and that "in many other jurisdictions, insurers will likely not cover your claim if an unlisted driver crashes your vehicle."

Unfortunately, ICBC's justification simply does not hold water. As the association representing Canada's private insurance companies, we are compelled to inform that this is not common practice in other auto insurance markets across Canada or in the United States.

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While auto insurers often request drivers to list other family members living in their homes who may use their vehicles, listing all incidental drivers like friends, neighbours, and co-workers is not. Nor is denying claims if an unlisted driver causes an accident.

Many of the upcoming ICBC changes that are designed to price auto insurance based on driver risk and to make accidents follow driver records - as opposed to their vehicles - are an effective way to incent better behavior on our roads, and mirror the way auto insurance is priced in other provinces. ICBC's new unlisted driver protection fee does not.

With British Columbians paying more for auto insurance than anyone else in Canada, this is just the latest example of why B.C. drivers deserve choice and the freedom to shop around for their auto insurance needs. If ICBC were open to competition and drivers didn't want to purchase "unlisted driver protection" they wouldn't have to - they could take their business elsewhere.

Aaron Sutherland

Vice-President, Pacific Region

Insurance Bureau of Canada

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