Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson is calling for a complete overhaul of ICBC.
“ICBC is a 45-year-old state-run monopoly and hasn’t been fixed by any government,” said Wilkinson, in a news release. “British Columbians already pay the highest auto insurance rates in Canada. Today’s rate increase shows that no matter how much David Eby and the NDP try to blame others for the situation at ICBC, British Columbians are the ones paying the price and that is not fair.”
Last week ICBC applied to the B.C. Utilities Commission to increase basic auto insurance rates by 6.3 per cent.
B.C. drivers have seen an almost 13 per cent increase in their auto insurance rates over the past two years and the average driver will now be paying at least $1,740 a year for basic insurance, said Wilkinson.
“Today’s rate increase of 6.3 per cent is just another cost being downloaded onto taxpayers by the NDP,” said Wilkinson. “The cost of optional insurance is still to be revealed, but to meet the NDP’s budget targets there would have to be an increase of 14 per cent to that rate, something the NDP has decided to try to hide from the public.”
Wilkinson suggested looking at the best auto insurance practices across North America and implement them here in B.C.
“The goal is to see rates go down for good drivers,” he said. “To do that, we’re ready to send ICBC to the wrecking yard.”
While that may be ambiguous as to whether Wikinson wants to privatize auto insurance in B.C., the BC Liberal Caucus is more succinct.
“SHARE if you think it’s time to start talking about getting government out of the car insurance business,” reads a post on its Facebook page.
The NDP government has blamed the previous Liberal government for the woes at ICBC.
“The previous government was presented with clear solutions to ICBC’s financial crisis and warned that if it did not act, drivers would suffer the consequences,” said Attorney General David Eby. “They not only ignored the warning, they hid the solutions from the public.”