Apr 15, 2013, Business in Vancouver.
“Over the last 10 years, the province’s adjustments to the insurance system have radically shifted B.C.’s public automobile insurance system from one that maximizes public good, to one that maximizes profitability, and these profits are shifting unfairly to provincial coffers,” said CACBC president Bruce Cran.
The B.C. government has milked the public insurer for $677 million since 2010, the report alleges.
“In effect, the province of British Columbia has created another way to unfairly tax some sectors of the public and without any representation or voice,” the report claims.
It adds, “Under the B.C. Liberals, the province has eroded almost all that is positive about B.C.’s unique public system in favour of creating a revenue stream for government as they experience falling revenues from their other cash cow, BC Hydro.”
The report also targets the tax the B.C. government charges on insurance premiums, stating it is the highest in Canada.
It makes 15 recommendations, including:
- shift from a revenue-driven to “consumer-focused” approach, focusing on loss prevention and road safety;
- allow ICBC to use profits to reduce premiums;
- lower the 4.4% insurance premium tax to pre-2004 levels, or scrap it altogether;
- remove ICBC from the Property and Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation (PACICC), since, as a Crown agency, ICBC can never become insolvent, meaning the insurance is unnecessary.