Drivesmart: Insurance fraud and insurance rates: who to believe?

Ouch! My ICBC insurance rates are going up as much as 42 per cent over the next five years

Ouch! My ICBC insurance rates are going up as much as 42 per cent over the next five years according to an article in the Province newspaper.

I already paid $630 this year for the privilege of having my fellow British Columbians help me pay for collision liability if I make a mistake and crash my pickup.

I’m not looking forward to paying $895 in 2021, but when you consider how much you could be on the hook for if you didn’t have insurance, even that doesn’t look too bad.

ICBC rightly points out that insurance rates have been impacted by the cost of bodily injury claims, insurance fraud and the cost of repairing high end vehicles.

If I’m reading their annual report correctly, the cost of claims totalled just over $4 billion in 2015.

That’s for an average (2009 to 2013) of 52,000 injury crashes (about 142 per day).

Fraud costs us all between $100 and $150 per year according to ICBC, which is definitely significant in my view.

Both ICBC and the Insurance Bureau of Canada hope that we’ll all help by reporting frauds.

In fact, ICBC has two units that work to expose fraud, the Special Investigations Unit and the Cyber Unit that uses information available on the internet and social media to catch offenders.

The Fraser Institute is a Canadian think tank that, in part, communicates the effects of government policies on our well being.

Their last report claims that B.C. drivers are paying rates that are too high due to a lack of competition.

I’d be willing to bet that if we quit crashing into things our rates would be much lower. That may seem trite, but we do it about 700 times a day in this province.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit DriveSmartBC.ca

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