Victoria – 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.

How the changes will work

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.

Why the changes are needed

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.

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