The first Duncan-Cowichan Chamber of Commerce luncheon of 2019 provided a bleak look into the future of auto insurance premiums in our province.

The Vice President of the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s Pacific Division, Aaron Sutherland made a presentation to those in attendance and highlighted that because ICBC has a monopoly, drivers aren’t going to get any breaks on their premiums any time soon.

“Government is bringing in many important solutions, things like a minor injury cap, things that are going to start driving down the cost curve at ICBC, but unfortunately for drivers,  it isn’t going to do anything for their pocketbook,” said Sutherland. “The price they (drivers) are paying is expected to keep going up, we’ve seen this again with the latest ICBC rate increase. It’s clear today, we need to start looking outside of ICBC for these solutions.”

We live in the most expensive province in the country with regard to auto insurance premiums and those costs are going to keep trending in the wrong direction.

Sutherland said creating a competitive marketplace is key to eventually start seeing some savings.

“We need to look at best practices from across the country and across North America. One of those best practices is that perhaps we need to start looking outside of ICBC for solutions, bringing a competitive marketplace to BC, giving drivers the choice they deserve and the opportunity to shop around for their insurance.”

ICBC doesn’t share data with other insurance companies in what Sutherland calls ‘a data-driven industry.’

The challenge is to create a competitive market, so ICBC has to share its data.