ICBC deals with hundreds of accident claims each week, with injuries and repair costs rising. (Black Press Media)

ICBC insurance renewals get more complicated this year

Crash history, driver risk prompt more reporting requirements

B.C. vehicle owners are beginning to be notified of insurance changes taking effect this fall, with extra information and in some cases extra fees required to renew.

The changes are part of an effort to control ballooning claim costs and deficits at the Insurance Corp. of B.C., by shifting costs away from vehicle owners and onto high-risk drivers. At-fault accident claims after June 10 are being calculated to set the new optional insurance rates that take effect with renewals from Sept. 1 forward.

For renewals after Sept. 1, vehicle owners are asked to list secondary drivers who are expected to use the vehicle, with their driver’s licence number and date of birth. An up-front charge for unlisted additional drivers was dropped after negative feedback from customers, and now unlisted extra drivers will cost the principal driver $50 per year only if they cause a crash while using the car.

Learner drivers must be listed for each vehicle, and a learner premium of between $130 and $230 per year applies, depending on the region. Urban areas generally have higher accident rates and regional rates for all drivers are adjusted to reflect the risk.

Owners who drive a vehicle fewer than 5,000 km a year should take a picture of their odometer reading when they renew insurance. If they remain below 5,000 km in the coming year, they will be eligible for a discount.

RELATED: NDP defends speed cameras at 35 intersections

RELATED: Province starts testing intersection speed cameras

Driver infractions have always been a factor in insurance rates, with penalty points incurred, but the new rules add to that. If there are two minor infractions such as speeding or running a stop sign during a record scan period of up to three years, the optional insurance premium increases. Any serious infraction, including impaired driving, excessive speeding or distracted driving, also triggers an optional insurance rate increase.

ICBC estimates that when all of its risk adjustments are in place, they will reduce premiums for about three quarters of drivers. The existing system spread costs across all drivers, leaving some with recent at-fault crashes paying the same as those with crash-free driving records.

When additional drivers are listed for a vehicle, the highest-risk driving record is used to calculate 25 per cent of the basic insurance premium, with the principal driver’s record used for the rest.

Registered owners will still be on the hook for speeding tickets that will soon be issued by 35 cameras at high-crash intersections in B.C. urban areas. The cameras have been upgraded to operate 24 hours a day and some equipped to issue speeding tickets when a vehicle exceeds an undisclosed margin above the speed limit is exceeded. ICBC is coping with more than 900 accidents per day, the majority of them at intersections.

The speed cameras are being activated this summer at major intersections in Kelowna, Abbotsford, Nanaimo and various locations in Metro Vancouver. There is a total of 140 intersection cameras in the province, with most still issuing tickets by mail only when a vehicle runs a red light.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Cycle tour for African Grandmothers coming through the Comox Valley

On Sept. 6, 35 women, aged between 56 and 75, will be… Continue reading

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Gallery accepting applications for Youth Media Project

The Comox Valley Art Gallery is accepting applications for the Youth Media… Continue reading

Ribfest returning to the Comox Valley

It’s fast approaching—the fifth annual Comox Valley Ribfest takes place from Friday,… Continue reading

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

PHOTOS: Cumberland Wild embraces diverse musical talents

Day 1 of the two-day music festival took place Saturday

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read