Driving convictions now impact optional premiums

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    More changes are coming to make car insurance better for B.C. Starting September 1, 2019, customers with frequent or serious driving convictions will pay more for their ICBC optional insurance coverage so that lower-risk drivers can pay less.

    This builds on changes already announced to ICBC’s new basic insurance model. Also starting September 1, 2019, ICBC is moving to a basic insurance model that is more driver-based. This means crashes follow the driver, not the vehicle, to help make sure drivers are more accountable for their behaviour on the road.

    Once all the changes are in place, it’s anticipated that approximately three-quarters of ICBC’s customers will be better off than today, with many seeing a decrease to their overall premiums.

    Driving convictions from June 10th, 2019, going forward will have the potential to impact a customer’s optional premium starting September 1, 2019. Those premiums will escalate in line with the frequency and seriousness of the convictions. ICBC will ultimately scan back over a three-year period for driving convictions by June 10th, 2022.

    Serious driving convictions such as Criminal Code offences, impaired driving, excessive speeding and distracted driving, will result in increased premiums after the first conviction.

    Minor offences such as failing to stop, failing to yield, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt will only result in increased premiums if there are two or more convictions during the scan period.

    Today, 10 per cent of customers have either two or more minor driving convictions or have been convicted of a serious driving offence over the past three years, yet they pay the same for optional coverage as a customer with no convictions.

    Factoring in convictions when calculating optional insurance premiums aims to provide drivers with a financial incentive to improve their driving behaviour by avoiding higher premiums.

    During government’s 2018 public engagement on changes to ICBC’s rate model, the majority of respondents agreed that drivers with both serious and multiple minor driving convictions should pay higher premiums.

    To ensure customers are informed about the changes coming to both basic and optional auto insurance, ICBC has expanded the content on its website. It includes information about what to bring to your broker and details on how insurance premiums will be set starting September 1, 2019.

    As customers near their renewal date, they can also expect their ICBC renewal reminder letter to highlight important information and suggest ways to prepare for their visit to their broker.

    Customers are encouraged to visit icbc.com/change to learn more.

    Nicolas Jimenez, president and CEO of ICBC said :“Using driving convictions to price optional insurance is long overdue. It’s an important change that will benefit the vast majority of British Columbians, and is part of a series of changes we’re making to evolve B.C.’s insurance system so that it works for our province. This will make sure that higher-risk drivers are held accountable for their decisions by providing a financial incentive for them to improve their driving.”

    David Eby, Attorney General said : “Today, about 10 per cent of ICBC’s optional customers have a record of multiple or serious driving convictions, yet pay the same optional premium as a customer with no convictions – this isn’t right. Many auto insurers – and certainly private insurers – already use driving convictions as a factor in pricing their premiums, so I applaud ICBC’s move to ensure those who are higher-risk are no longer being subsidized by the overwhelming majority of lower-risk drivers.”