In early 2020, John Horgan and his NDP government introduced new legislation that aimed to reduce the high costs of auto insurance in BC. It’s a good start, but it’s not enough.
By | Nina Stofati
British Columbia is notorious for its high cost of living.
The province has broken a number of fiscal records in the past few months as gas prices skyrocket and inflation shatters a 31-year national record.
British Columbians are subjected exceptionally high tariffs for auto insurance with annual costs topping $1832, making BC the most expensive province for auto insurance.
For years, ICBC has monopolized the auto insurance sector. Since the pandemic began, many prospective drivers have struggled to book road tests due to backlog that ICBC claims is a result of provincial pandemic restrictions.
This has left a waitlist of over 50,000 new drivers.
Due to this monopoly, British Columbians have no way of escaping ICBC’s inflated premiums and lack of available services.
British Columbia came close to reaching autonomy from ICBC during the 2020 provincial election. Part of the BC Liberals’ platform involved scrapping public auto insurance.
However, the party fell short as the NDP won the largest majority in decades, meaning that ICBC is here to stay until the next election.
MLAs and politicians all across the province have introduced a number of plans to ease financial stress. Unfortunately, these plans have amounted to tax hikes, which primarily affect the middle class.
Privatizing car insurance and scrapping ICBC could be the first step to making this province more affordable. With ICBC out of the way, the competitive private market would ultimately reduce costs.
The current manipulation that BC residents face from ICBC and their lobbies will be eliminated once auto insurance is no longer publicly owned by the government.