ICBC president and CEO Nicolas Jimenez. (Black Press Media file)

LETTER: ICBC boss responds to accusations of failing to adapt

ICBC CEO Nicolas Jimenez responds to column by the CFIB’s Richard Truscott

Re: “COLUMN: ICBC is not just broke, it’s broken” by Richard Truscott of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, published Aug. 28, 2019

Richard Truscott’s attempts to position ICBC as a company that has failed to adapt and change do not stand up to the facts.

Under government’s direction, ICBC has undertaken the largest reforms in its history this year, including a significant shift to a care-based model with substantially increased benefits for British Columbians and a fundamental change to make our rate model fairer.

RELATED: B.C. limits ‘duelling’ expert witnesses in ICBC injury cases

Under this new model, more than half of our full-coverage customers – those who are safer, lower-risk drivers – will see their rates decrease. This is already showing itself to be true with the early renewals we’ve seen to date.

Drivers will also receive new discounts for driving less and for having their vehicle equipped with safety technology.

Importantly, contrary to Mr. Truscott’s attempts to position this as a negative thing, we’re increasing the rewards for drivers who continue to drive safely year after year. Whereas drivers’ basic discounts were capped at nine years of crash-free driving under the old model, discounts will now continue to get better every year for up to 40 years.

While Mr. Truscott also argues that ICBC “employs twice as many staff as any other Canadian insurer its size,” he fails to acknowledge what everyone knows – that ICBC is far more than just an auto insurer for three million drivers.

We also run the province’s driver licensing system, including road tests; we handle the processing of provincial violation tickets; and we invest millions every year in making our roads safer for hundreds of communities across the province.

Name a private insurer that does – or will – do this. Even when we do more than any other auto insurer would do, we still have operating costs that are significantly lower than the industry average.

While our large financial losses in recent years have made headlines, we are projecting a much smaller net loss this year as our reforms start to make an impact. And while we are optimistic, we are also realistic in recognizing the risks that still exist in these changes having their full desired impact.

For example, trial lawyers have brought court challenges that, if successful, would create a pressure of nearly half a billion dollars in additional claims and associated legal costs for ICBC over the next two fiscal years and put at risk our ability to continue to afford all of the increased care and recovery benefits our customers are now benefiting from.

READ MORE: ICBC expecting $1.18 billion annual loss as new injury caps take effect

ALSO: Pay, bonuses for ICBC executives being reduced, David Eby says

As his association represents private business, Mr. Truscott also makes the case that private insurance is the solution for B.C. His column didn’t acknowledge that some of the recent highest auto insurance rate increases in Canada have been happening in private-model jurisdictions (Alberta and Ontario) while public insurance models elsewhere (Manitoba and Saskatchewan) are thriving with much lower – or even no – rate increases.

Major improvements have already been made to B.C.’s auto insurance system, doubling care amounts for the injured and making the way we set rates fairer – these changes are working.

RELATED: B.C. drivers can calculate new insurance rates ahead of ICBC changes

Government and ICBC are focused on building on the success of the reforms made to date and are prepared to do more, as needed, to ensure we achieve the most important goal – affordable insurance rates for British Columbians.

Nicolas Jimenez is president and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Chemainus family pledges $50,000 to Chemainus Theatre Crisis Relief Fund

The Hilton family pledged $50,000 toward a matched fund. If fully matched, it will raise $100,000

Local woman makes face masks to raise funds for LRCA Food Bank

Cheryl Lowrence made 30 face masks and raised $326.25 for the food bank

Ladysmith family creates music video to show appreciation for community in the face of COVID-19

Sheila Richards, 77 is the star of new music video celebrating community kindness in Ladysmith

Burning complaints prompt regulation reminder from North Oyster Volunteer Fire Department

NOVFD has responded to at least 10 burning complaints in since April 1

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

Most Read