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

Ocean Boulevard could open after Labour Day

Colwood council expected to discuss options later this month

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Sidney can ‘only educate and encourage’ people to social distance

CAO says municipality lacks legislative authority to enforce social distancing in public

$3,700 worth of bikes stolen in Oak Bay in just three days

Police receive reports of four stolen bikes from July 27 to 29

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Dinosaurs revived for animatronic auction in Langley

More than 500 robot dinosaurs, fossils, and exhibition gear are going on the block Aug. 6

B.C. paramedics responded to a record-breaking 2,700 overdose calls in July

Province pledges $10.5 million for expansion of overdose prevention response

Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Most Read