The BC government has announced changes it says will reduce costs at the Insurance Corporation of BC by one billion dollars a year.
Attorney general David Eby says starting in April 1, 2019, the changes will include a new limit of $5,500 on pain and suffering for minor injury claims, and an independent dispute resolution process for certain motor vehicle injury claims.
“The savings from these initiatives will not only allow us to get ICBC’s finances back on track, to ensure lower insurance rates, but will allow us for the first time in 25 years to make major changes to ICBC’s accident benefits which will dramatically increase the care available for anyone injured in a crash,” Eby told a news conference in Victoria.
Eby says the changes will reduce ICBC spending on legal fees and expenses, which have grown to 24% of the budget.
“It’s going to take some time to turn around the problems at ICBC. I acknowledge there is no silver bullet that will solve things immediately in terms of a problem that’s been building for years unaddressed.”
The public auto insurer is facing a net loss of 1.3 billion dollars for the fiscal year, which Eby blames on years of mismanagement by the previous Liberal government.
He says other initiatives will include re-starting red light cameras, and higher fines for repeat distracted driving offenders.
“My goal is to get rate increases down to inflationary increases, and that is what these reforms are aimed at,” adds Eby.