VANCOUVER – The government’s new “review” of ICBC is aimed at helping Premier Christy Clark get through an election, not at providing rate relief for drivers facing steep insurance hikes, says Adrian Dix, New Democrat Official Opposition spokesperson on ICBC.
“This review is not about providing relief for drivers struggling to keep up with rising premiums, it’s about helping Christy Clark get through an election. She pulled the same play ahead of the 2013 election, but after saying she accepted the review’s recommendations, ICBC basic insurance rates proceeded to go through the roof,” said Dix.
“Independent hearings just exposed that that basic insurance premiums could spike another 42 per cent after the election. So Christy Clark’s political solution to her political problem is to shut down the hearings and order this review,” said Dix. “Christy Clark simply didn’t want to have the results of hearings into ICBC rate hikes come out in March right before the election.”
Dix noted how under Premier Christy Clark’s tenure, insurance rates have already gone up approximately $230 per driver.
“Like rising B.C. Hydro rates, medical service premium tax increases and other fee hikes, Christy Clark’s manipulation of ICBC is just another hidden tax increase for individuals and families. She has taken more than a billion dollars out of ICBC. That’s why rates are going up.
“Christy Clark’s manipulation of ICBC has been making life less affordable for British Columbians ever since she took office. If she was serious about taking action on rising insurance premiums, she would have stopped treating ICBC as an ATM,” said Dix.
Dix said the law needs to be changed to stop the provincial government from raiding ICBC’s financial reserves, so those funds are available to help stabilize rates through settling claims, improving customer service and road safety.