Last week, ICBC announced they would once again be applying to raise basic automobile insurance rates.
This year the company is sending the B.C. utilities Commission a request for a 5.2% hike.
“I can certainly understand [that] no-one likes the news of a rate increase and we don’t like to ever have to deliver that news but certainly the fact is, the cost of injury claims in B.C. continues to grow every year,” spokesperson for ICBC Adam Grossman said.
Grossman added that over the last five years, injury claims alone have increased from $1.5 billion to $1.9 billion per year.
“That’s a huge jump and a rate increase is really needed to cover that increase in costs every year,” he noted. “Looking at what factors are influencing injury claims, one of the factors that we’re certainly identifying is distracted driving. It’s really that increasing use of cell phones behind the wheel.”
In B.C. distracted driving is now the second leading cause of crash fatalities and the leading cause of rear end crashes resulting in injuries, Grossman said.
He added that injury claims have been increasing every year by $100 million, stating, “It’s a pretty worrying picture.”
This rate increase proposal comes just one year after ICBC requested a 4.9 per cent hike.
Grossman, however, said the increase shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
“A 5.2 per cent increase can sound quite large, but in terms of the difference it’s going to make to the average customers premiums, it’s going to be about three dollars a month,” he said. “Hopefully it’s not an increase that’s not manageable by most people.”