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IBC Applauds BC Chamber of Commerce for Supporting Call to End ICBC’s Monopoly



May 24, 2019 (VANCOUVER) – Today, during its annual general meeting, the British Columbia (BC) Chamber of Commerce overwhelmingly endorsed the call for an end to Insurance Corporation of British Columbia’s (ICBC’s) monopoly on auto insurance in BC. Chamber members voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution asking the provincial government to introduce greater competition to the marketplace to give drivers and businesses more choice when buying auto insurance.

The Richmond and Abbotsford chambers of commerce co-sponsored the resolution, supported by the Williams Lake, Port Hardy and Kelowna chambers of commerce.

“Under ICBC’s monopoly, drivers in BC pay more for auto insurance than anyone else in Canada. We congratulate the BC Chamber of Commerce for supporting what British Columbians overwhelming desire: a choice in auto insurance,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, IBC. “Opening BC’s auto insurance marketplace to competition would save drivers up to $325 annually. Competition provides a powerful incentive for any company to deliver the best product at the best price. Auto insurance is no exception to this rule.”

According to data from ICBC and the General Insurance Statistical Agency (a national body of provincial insurance regulators), BC drivers pay the highest auto insurance prices in Canada. Their annual premiums averaged $1,680 in 2017. While the government has embarked on reforms designed to improve ICBC’s finances, they are not expected to reduce the prices that drivers are paying in BC. In fact, ICBC is forecasting that prices will increase by nearly 25% over the next three years, beginning with the 6.3% basic rate increase that took effect on April 1, 2019.


Quotes

"Introducing competition in the market place will drive down costs to businesses and workers who are currently paying the highest auto insurance premiums in the country. Introducing alternative insurance choices is not only a viable solution to the affordability issue but also encourages innovation. Our current model does not reflects what British Columbians want. A recent survey indicates that 82% want more competition and choice." 

- Melinda Friesen, President, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce


“As a free-enterprising entity we believe government should open up the market to more competition to allow for BC drivers to benefit from lower premiums for all”

- Matt Pitcairn, President & CEO, Richmond Chamber of Commerce


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 126,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $54.7 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @IBC_West or 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