Blame BC Liberals when ICBC premiums go up again

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
January 29, 2018 - 6:48am Updated: January 29, 2018 - 11:39am

KAMLOOPS — 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.