ICBC
(File photo)

ICBC premiums will be going up for some drivers starting November 1st.

In an initiative that was first introduced in August, the BC NDP government is raising insurance rates and premiums for high-risk motorists by 20%.

The move is an effort to further discourage reckless driving, as well as to offset overall basic insurance premiums for safe drivers.

“Reckless drivers put others at risk, and they’re contributing to the rise in crashes we’re seeing on our roads,” said David Eby, Attorney General.

“To help make our roads safer and hold people accountable, we’re bringing in higher penalties for drivers who engage in dangerous behaviour behind the wheel.”

Details of the new system

Starting this Thursday, high-risk drivers will be charged 20% more than the current penalty for these two programs:

  • The Driver Risk Premium (DRP) which is charged annually to people who have been convicted of dangerous driving offences like speeding, distracted or impaired driving, roadside suspensions, or prohibitions.
  • The Driver Penalty Point (DPP) premium which is a penalty for having four or more points from traffic violations. The amount charged depends on the total number of points collected in a 12-month period.

Drivers are required to pay the DRP and DPP to ICBC on top of the original fine for the violation. They can only be charged for one of the two penalties – whichever is higher.

The DPP currently ranges from $175 for four points to $24,000 for 50 or more points, and at the moment around 66,000 drivers in BC pay one of the two penalties.

Those who refuse to pay the penalty will not be eligible to renew their driver’s licence or purchase insurance through ICBC, and will be charged 19.6% interest after 60 days of non-payment.

Drivers who incur these penalties have the option to surrender their license for a period of time to reduce or eliminate the extra amount they would have otherwise had to pay.

According to preliminary figures from the province, ICBC expects to collect $26 million in penalties in 2019, $32 million in 2020, and $36 million in 2021 as a result of these increased premiums.

Background

In May, a survey of nearly 35,000 British Columbians found that 82.3% of residents think that risky drivers should pay more.

The province’s new move appears to be a result of this feedback, and was first announced in August.

In response to the announcement, BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said the proposed changes won’t do anything to fix the problems with ICBC.

“All the Attorney General has done today is lay blame at the foot of B.C. drivers, instead of overhauling the broken system that is ICBC,” said Wilkinson, whose party was blamed for leaving ICBC with a $1 billion deficit when it was in power.

“It’s time for a complete re-work of the auto insurance framework in B.C., and the NDP is not delivering.”

Wilkinson says the government should look at other jurisdictions that don’t have a government-run insurance company and implement their best practices to help lower rates for British Columbians.

With files from Myles Sauer.

👋 Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every weekday.