FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2005
Consumers' Association Calls On ICBC To Further Reduce Auto Insurance Rates for BC Drivers in Response to ICBC's Continuing Record Profits
The Consumers' Association of Canada today called on ICBC to make further cuts to auto insurance rates for BC drivers. “ICBC again announced record profits last Friday,” said Mr. Bruce Cran, President of the Association. "By the end of this year ICBC will be sitting on a massive cash hoard of more than a billion dollars which has come straight from the pockets of BC consumers”.
ICBC is a non-profit corporation with a mandate to offer the lowest rates possible. “ICBC was never set up to generate massive profits then keep the money”, said Mr. Cran.
The question is, why is ICBC hoarding a billion dollars and not using the money to reduce rates? "The reason is that ICBC continues to be a political pawn of the Provincial Government", said Mr. Cran.
“The BC Government has ordered ICBC to generate massive profits and retain the money rather than immediately lowering rates”, said Mr. Cran.
The BC Government ordered ICBC to build up its financial reserves to the same level as private insurers. No other province with a public auto insurance system requires this same level of reserves. A clear advantage of public auto insurance is that such reserves are completely unnecessary as ICBC is fully backed by the financial strength of the province.
“These huge reserves result in excessively high rates for consumers and businesses in British Columbia”, said Mr. Cran.
“The BC Government decided to ‘level the playing field’ by fixing ICBC’s rates artificially high in order to enable private insurers to compete”, said Mr. Cran.
Contact: Mr. Bruce Cran - President, Consumers’ Association of Canada
Tel. (604) 418-8359