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

Just Posted

Freezing rain warning issued for central Interior Remembrance Day

Highway alerts in place for Begbie Summitt and Pine Pass

Remembrance Day Ceremonies will be happening in Barriere, Clearwater and Blue River

Join with others as we pay our respects to those who have served, and those still serving

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

The Freeston family: generations of military service

“I’m glad everyone came back from the war, that’s one of the main things.”

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read