The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) has mixed feelings following the government’s announced changes for ICBC.
One of them is putting a cap on minor injury claims at $5,500 starting in April of 2019.
The province could be riding a slippery slope when determining what is or isn’t a minor injury.
“If you have a minor injury, that’s tough because trying to prove some massive whiplash injury versus having the very tip of your pinky finger broken that would make it so that your whiplash is technically minor and the very tip of your pinky finger being broken wouldn’t be minor,” says Kris Sims, BC Director.
Sims is also a little concerned with the government on deciding the severity of the injury claims that come in.
“When the government starts deciding what is and isn’t a major or minor injury we can get into issues, however, we do understand that they wanted reforms at ICBC and they wanted to see changes. We are a little bit concerned about people’s personal freedom if they’re truly in pain and suffering.”
“Injury has no borders, injury has no boundaries and God forbid somebody has a car crash in Prince George or Northern BC and they’re injured in it, now if this new law goes through there is going to be mandatory caps put through on their injuries, “ states Sims.
She adds they way we deal with accidents through ICBC was in need of an overhaul with the insurance corporation not adjusting their payment rates or assistance in about 15 years.
However, the new announcement still does little to reduce drivers rates at the moment, with the average BC driver still paying $1,700 a year for their auto insurance, which is the highest rate in Canada.
Sims does, however, give credit to Attorney General Eby for his dedication and work on this file with the attempt making rates more affordable for BC drivers.
“You know I take him at his work and he’s really working hard at it, you can see it. You can see how much time he is spending on this and the idea of punishing bad drivers and rewarding good drivers I think strikes most people as fair, if you’re a terrible driver and you’re reckless and dangerous, by nature of insurance you should pay more because you are higher risk – insurance is based on risk.”
The other change made by the government was doubling the overall medical care and cost recovery cost allowance to $300,000, making it retroactive to January 1st.
Last week, the CTF suggested a brand new business model for ICBC as it braces for a $1.3 billion dollar loss this year.
They are proposing a driver-owned co-operative, giving Northern BC drivers including Prince George more choice on their car insurance, giving them the option to either keep ICBC or go somewhere else for a better rate.