ICBC’s changes not common in industry

Re: “ICBC changes are about fairness,” letter, Oct. 5.

In its letter, ICBC is defending its new $50 fee for unlisted driver protection by arguing that this is “common practice across North America and beyond.”

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Unfortunately, this justification simply does not hold water. As the association representing Canada’s private insurance companies, we are compelled to inform British Columbians that this is not common practice in other auto-insurance markets across Canada or in the United States.

While auto insurers often request drivers to list other family members living in their homes who might use their vehicles, listing incidental drivers such as friends, neighbours and co-workers is not.

Many of ICBC’s upcoming changes are designed to price auto insurance based on driver risk and to make accidents follow driver records, as opposed to their vehicles. These are an effective way to incent better behaviour on our roads and mirror the way auto insurance is priced in other provinces. ICBC’s new unlisted driver protection fee does not.

With British Columbians paying more for auto insurance than anyone else in Canada, this is just the latest example of why B.C. drivers deserve choice and the freedom to shop around for their auto-insurance needs. If ICBC were open to competition and drivers didn’t want to purchase “unlisted driver protection,” they wouldn’t have to — they could take their business elsewhere.

Aaron Sutherland

Vice-president, Pacific Region

Insurance Bureau of Canada

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