B.C. is one of the few jurisdictions in Canada where auto insurance is a government monopoly.

Aaron Sutherland, of the Insurance Bureau of Canada will be speaking at some local Chambers of Commerce in the coming weeks to talk about private insurance options in the province.

“In most other Canadian provinces auto insurance is provided just like everything else in your life. It’s a competitive marketplace, you can shop around, find the best product at the best price. B.C. is one of few jurisdictions in North America where it’s a government monopoly selling auto insurance. Unfortunately in B.C. what that’s led to is we now pay more for auto insurance than anyone else in Canada, full stop.”

Sutherland said it’s clear, changes need to be made.

He said some important changes are coming from government, but they are not going to go far enough when it comes to driving the price of auto insurance down.

“There’s a whole host of new innovations that are coming down in other provinces that we haven’t seen here in B.C. If we opened ICBC up, if we allowed other companies to come in to sell auto insurance, drivers could shop around, they could find significant savings. Some estimates are up to 325 dollars each and every year in savings.”

Last week, the B.C. Utilities Commission approved an interim 6 point 3 per cent rate increase for April 1st.

Sutherland will be speaking to the Nanaimo Chamber a week from this Wednesday.

Sutherland will be in the Cowichan Valley speaking to Chamber members on Thursday, January 17th.