Canadian Underwriter

IBC welcomes more competition in B.C. auto insurance market

June 1, 2007   by Canadian Underwriter

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The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has welcomed new legislation in B.C. that the IBC says will provide more competition and choice in the provinces auto insurance market.
Bill 93, adopted in 2003, aims to clearly separate basic insurance from optional insurance products to give British Columbia drivers more options regarding their insurance coverage.
Bill 93 ensures that optional insurance policies sold by private insurers and ICBC are governed by the same legislation and regulations, thus promoting a level playing field, the IBC says in a release. Prior to Bill 93, ICBC and private insurers were ruled by two separate acts.
For consumers, Bill 93 will allow for more flexibility to find more competitive optional insurance packages for their auto insurance.
According to Lindsay Olson, IBC vice-president, British Columbia and Yukon, drivers should now be in a better position to compare the cost of their optional insurance coverage and find the one that is best suited for their needs and budget.
The IBC notes competition and choice have already been beneficial for B.C. drivers, with private insurers helping drive optional insurance rates downward.
Although Bill 93 brings positive changes to the auto insurance landscape in British Columbia, the IBC would still prefer to see changes to ICBC’s monopoly on mandatory coverage.
“Bill 93 is a step in the right direction, but there is much more that can be done to bring healthy competition into the B.C. insurance market,” said Olson. “B.C. drivers are still paying among the highest basic auto-insurance rates in Canada.
If the B.C. government opened the market to other insurance companies, motorists would be able to shop around for lower insurance rates.”