KAMLOOPS — B.C. Attorney General David Eby announced changes to ICBC Tuesday he says will save the Crown corporation $1 billion annually.
Eby announced the following changes will begin April 1, 2019:
- A new limit of $5,500 on pain and suffering for minor injury claims. The cost of those claims has increased 265 per cent since 2000 and B.C. is the last province in Canada to take this kind of action.
- A doubling of the overall medical and recovery cost allowance to $300,000 — double the previous amount. The change will be made retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.
- An independent dispute resolution process for certain motor vehicle injuries.
The province says "these changes will reduce the amount ICBC spends on legal fees and expenses, which have grown to consume 24 per cent of ICBC's budget" and claim they "will restore ICBC to financial sustainability."
Eby did not announce ICBC rates would be increasing, though he said ICBC "will be consulting with customers on major revisions to the corporation's rate structure with the goal of ensuring good drivers pay less, and bad drivers pay more."
"The consutlation will ensure rate structure changes are repsonsive to the interests of British Columbians and done with full transparency," said Eby.
Disability BC applauded the changes noting it has been advocating for improvements to accident benefits for 12 years.
"The doubling of the overall allowance for medical care and recovery is a significant improvement," said Executive Director Jane Dyson. "We welcome these long-overdue changes that will mean that people who are catastrophically injured in motor vehicle accidents have better supports available to help them rebuild their lives."
The changes come barely a week after Eby called ICBC a "financial dumpster fire" after learning it was due to lose $1.3 billion this fiscal year.
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