October 11, 2006 by Canadian Underwriter
ICBC has taken to the airwaves to dismiss a Fraser Institute report that slams government-run auto insurance schemes as, according to the study’s author, “among the worst performers within almost all measures of market quality, including cost and affordability.”
In an interview on CKNW AM980, ICBC representative Doug McClelland denied the study’s claim that B.C. premiums are more expensive than in jurisdictions with private operators.
“Rates have been low and stable here over a number of years,” McClelland told the radio station. “You know, every study that I have seen in the six years that I’ve been with ICBC and there’ve been many studies have always shown that rates motorists in B.C. pay for their auto insurance compare very, very favorably.”
McClelland says competitive rates offered by private brokers usually apply to drivers with perfect or near-perfect records.
The Fraser Institute report, available on the research institute’s Web site, is entitled Auto Insurance Market Quality Index 2006: Annual Comparison of International Auto Insurance Markets.
The study assesses the performance of auto insurance markets in 10 Canadian provinces, 50 U.S. states and the United Kingdom using data from 2002 (the most recent year for which complete data was available across all jurisdictions).
Of the 61 jurisdictions examined, only BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec have public auto insurance.
“Supporters of government-run auto insurance claim these programs produce lower costs for drivers,” the report’s author, Brett Skinner, said in a press release. “But our study shows the few jurisdictions with public auto insurance are consistently among the worst performers within almost all measures of market quality, including cost and affordability.”
Skinner is the Fraser Institute’s director of insurance policy research.