FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2005
Consumers’ Association Releases First Results of National Auto Insurance Rates Study Comparing British Columbia vs. Alberta’s Average Rates
Consumers’ Association of Canada released the first results of a national study on auto insurance rates. “The study found that consumers in Alberta pay an average of 30% more for their auto insurance than BC consumers”, said Mr. Bruce Cran, President of the Association. The average auto insurance rate in Alberta was $1,714 while it was $1,324 in BC.
The first results of the study are a detailed comparison of rates between Alberta and British Columbia. To compare rates between the two provinces the study used 800,000 rate quotes in Alberta and British Columbia across 300 rating groups representing the key variables such as age, gender, vehicle, location, driving record and insurer.
“This is the largest independent study ever conducted on auto insurance rates in Canada”, said Mr. Bruce Cran, President of the Consumers’ Association.
A comparison of the province’s two capital cities shows that Edmonton’s average rate was $1864 vs. Victoría’s of $944. “Due to just announced rate reductions Victoria’s will now be even lower”, said Mr. Cran.
“But, auto insurance rates could be lower by hundreds of dollars if the BC Government had not interfered with ICBC’s operations”, said Mr. Cran. “ICBC’s mandate is to serve all consumers across the province at the lowest possible cost and they are no longer doing so”, said Mr. Cran.
“By the end of this year ICBC will have a billion dollar profit”, said Mr. Cran. ICBC has announced that it will reduce rates this year for good drivers that amounts to about $100 million. “So, what is ICBC going to do with the other $900 million of consumers money”, said Mr. Cran. “They plan on keeping the money”.
“This massive profit should be returned to BC consumers through dramatically lower rates, or ICBC should increase minimum insurance benefits to victims of crashes”, said Mr. Cran.
The reason ICBC has no plans to return this massive profit to consumers is that the BC Government ordered ICBC to keep the profits for two reasons. “By keeping the profits this keeps rates high allowing private insurers to compete”, said Mr. Cran. “The second reason is that these profits are kept on the province’s books and are used to reduce the Government’s deficit so it’s no surprise they don’t want to give the money back to consumers", said Mr. Cran.
Contact: Mr. Bruce Cran, President, Consumers’ Association of Canada
Tel. (604) 418-8359