VP Annette Toth Responds to the Insurance Bureau of Canada

September 10, 2013

The following letter ran in the Vancouver Sun on Monday, September 8, 2013. 

It’s not at all surprising to see the Insurance Bureau of Canada, which represents private insurance companies, attacking ICBC.

The industry would love to be able to offer basic car insurance like they do elsewhere in Canada, like Ontario, where rampant insurance fraud has led to the highest premiums in the country. When the Ontario government wanted to do something to lower the rates, the Insurance Bureau of Canada said the companies they represent could only do it by cutting payouts to accident victims.

Even with the more comprehensive, quality coverage and investment in road safety we have here through ICBC, rates remain lower than many other provinces. A recent report out of the province of Manitoba, using methodology developed by Deloitte LLP, found provinces with at least a partlypublic car insurance system (Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and of course B.C.) came in with lower average rates than every single province with a fully private system.

That’s not to say ICBC and our government couldn’t do anything better. It’s clear that the government’s continuing to siphon off massive amounts of ICBC’s profit into general revenue doesn’t help the rates. But I’m glad we have a public insurance system that has better rates than many other provinces, invests in roadsafety, has few issues with fraud, and at the end of the day is accountable to us as drivers and voters.

Annette Toth MoveUP Vice-President, ICBC