Accident rate is up, and injury claims, especially older claims that started out as minor. (Black Press files)

ICBC projects deficit of $1.3 billion this year

‘Massive growth’ in injury claims costs piling up

B.C.’s public auto insurer has confirmed its losses are accelerating, with annual injury claims rising from $3 billion in 2014 to almost $4 billion today.

And in addition to a continued increase in vehicle accidents, the pressure is coming from minor injuries that have developed into big demands for compensation by personal injury lawyers.

“In recent months, we have seen the emergence of many more, large and extremely costly claims, which run into hundreds of thousands of dollars each,” ICBC said in a statement posted on its website Sunday. “In particular, older claims – some dating as far back as 2010 – which were initially presented as minor injury claims have since emerged as more complex and costly, large loss claims.

“Over the past 12 months, we have experienced an unprecedented 80 per cent growth in large loss claims which have an average cost of $450,000 per claim.”

The projected loss comes despite a 6.4 per cent basic insurance rate increase approved this month by the B.C. Utilities Commission. That translates to an average increase of $4.75 per month for personal basic insurance coverage, which took effect Nov. 1 on an interim basis.

Attorney General David Eby released a consultant’s report after the NDP government took office in July, projecting ICBC rates could rise 30 per cent by 2019 if changes aren’t made. At the time, Eby rejected the idea of “no-fault” insurance that would cap the awards available for soft tissue and other minor injuries.

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates have traded blame for the soaring increase in claim costs, which has been a cause of alarm for ICBC executives since 2013.

Just Posted

Cumberland mayoral debate announced prematurely; Leslie Baird declines invitation

Eduardo Uranga hoped to hold the debate Wednesday evening

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: Care-A-Van offers more than just care in a van

Mobile clinic brings medical and social services to the Valley’s most vulnerable

Comox Valley Regional District seeking input on development of Tsolum River Agricultural Watershed Plan

This fall, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is inviting the community… Continue reading

Lane closure in Courtenay at Lewis Centre

The City of Courtenay will be working on the water distribution system… Continue reading

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Courtenay’s Dingwall Road to be temporarily closed for construction

Next week, the intersection of Dingwall Road and McQuillan Road will be… Continue reading

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Most Read