BC drivers continue to pay the highest auto insurance premiums in Canada

August 13, 2019 (VANCOUVER) – British Columbians continue to pay the highest auto insurance premiums in the country, according to the latest data released by the General Insurance Statistical Agency (GISA) which is the statistical agency run by Canada’s provincial insurance regulators. And prices are expected to continue rising in the years ahead, according to ICBC latest financial statements.

Average Auto Premiums

​British Columbia
Alberta​ Saskatchewan​ Manitoba​ Ontario​ Quebec​ Newfoundland and Labrador​ Nova Scotia​ New Brunswick​ Prince Edward Island​
$1,832​ $​1,316
$891​ $867​ $816
British Columbia
Alberta $​1,316
Saskatchewan $​1,235
Manitoba​ $​1,080
Ontario $​1,505
Quebec $​717
Newfoundland and Labrador $​1,168
Nova Scotia $891
New Brunswick $867
Prince Edward Island​ $816

Source: GISA & MSA data for private insurers (as of December 31, 2018), SGI Annual Report (2018), MPI Annual Report (2017), Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), and ICBC Service Plan (2019).

*Manitoba figure is from 2017 due to 2018 not being available.

“Under ICBC’s monopoly, British Columbians will again pay the highest auto insurance prices in Canada, with premiums now averaging $1,832 annually. While many important changes are underway in BC, none are expected to begin to reduce the price most drivers are paying,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “With ICBC stating that it will need price increases to raise over $1 billion in the years ahead, now, more than ever, the market must be opened to competition and choice to improve the affordability of auto insurance for drivers.”

The average premium is calculated by comparing the total premiums collected from passenger vehicles in each province, and dividing it by the number of those vehicles. While some organizations argue that average premiums can’t or shouldn’t be compared, this method is used by provincial regulators and provides the best possible comparison of the price drivers are paying in each province. In doing so, it becomes clear just how much more British Columbians pay for auto insurance than other drivers across the country who have the benefit of competition and choice.

An MNP LLP report found that Canada’s private insurers have increased efficiencies and developed product innovations and new ways to cut claim costs that could lower premiums for BC drivers by up to $325 annually. A recent poll showed that 82% of BC drivers are demanding more choice and competition for their auto insurance needs.

“Competition is a powerful incentive for any company to deliver the best product at the best possible price. Auto insurance is no exception to this rule,” added Sutherland. “Today’s numbers are yet further evidence of the need to open ICBC to competition and give British Columbians the ability to shop around for their auto insurance needs.”

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About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 128,000 Canadians, contributes $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @IBC_West and like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422).