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How Will the New ICBC Insurance System Affect Your Rates?

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On September 1, 2019, a new ICBC insurance model was launched. This new model has been deemed more “driver-based”, meaning that driving records, including accidents, follow the driver, rather than the vehicle. While a driver’s experience and accident history has always played a part in insurance premiums, it is now a larger factor.

In addition, changes have been made which, according to ICBC, are meant to “punish” those with “frequent or serious driving convictions” by hiking their basic insurance rates, and, in turn, lowering the insurance rates for drivers who are considered “low risk”.

ICBC has publicly estimated that three-quarters of the public will benefit from these changes when their insurance is up for renewal. However, as with all ICBC business, not everything is quite as it seems.

Many people are actually finding that their insurance rates have gone up, or stayed the same, despite having years of accident free driving. This is a far cry from ICBC’s claims that the new system would benefit those with a clean, safe driving record. New drivers seem to be suffering the most under this new system with shocking rates, even with no driving infractions or accidents, as ICBC deems new drivers as “high risk” to potentially cause an accident.

On the flip side, if someone borrows your car and is in an at-fault accident, their premiums will be affected, rather than yours, as was the case before. A silver lining to a very tarnished gold box, it would seem.

Main Factors Determining New ICBC Rates:

Here is a breakdown of the main factors that will determine your new insurance rates:

  • Driving history and accident history, which has always played a role, will factor in more significantly
  • Driving convictions, particularly those of a serious nature or those that have occurred multiple times
  • You must list any and all potential drivers, in or out of your home when you renew your insurance and the driving “score” of all drivers are combined to make up the total risk for the car being insured
  • Your vehicle type and year
  • The use of the vehicle (business or pleasure) and how often you use your vehicle.

In order to calculate your new rates, ICBC has provided an online BC insurance calculator that, through a series of questions, provides you with a “driver type” and estimates your new insurance rate.

Questions About British Columbia’s Laws?

Do you have any questions for the team at Spraggs? Leave a comment below — we’d love to hear from you. And, as always, if you have any questions about motor vehicle collisions, be sure to contact one of our ICBC lawyers in Vancouver.