Car crash
Credit: iStock/Aluzar

B.C. government is looking for feedback from the public until April 5

Between March 5 and April 5 at 4 p.m., the provincial government is collecting public input on the best way to determine insurance rates for vehicle owners. There are several ways to participate:

• Complete the questionnaire on the B.C. government website.

• Submit feedback by email or mail.

• Organizations and experts can make submissions that will be posted to the government’s ICBC Rate Fairness website.

Last month, on behalf of BCBusiness, Mustel Group conducted a poll of 300 B.C. residents on the same topic. First, Mustel explained that Insurance Corp. of British Columbia (ICBC) posted a net loss of more than $900 million for the first nine months of its 2017/18 fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, and is forecasting a total loss of $1.3 billion for the full year. The B.C. NDP plans to launch major reforms in an attempt to make ICBC financially sustainable. Initiatives will be introduced in the spring legislature sessions.

Then Mustel asked: Which of the following initiatives would you support?

A) Increasing driver premiums
B) High-risk drivers pay more, and low risk drivers pay less
C) Putting a cap on minor-injury claims
D) Cut legal and autho body repair costs
E) A “no-fault” insurance scheme (which restricts a person’s right to sue)

Respondents tended to agree on initiatives A-D, but answers to the question on no-fault insurance were mixed. “There’s a fairly high ‘don’t know’ level, so I think it’s something that people don’t quite understand yet,” notes Mustel Group principal Evi Mustel. “Almost a quarter don’t have an opinion. So I think it’s something that people don’t quite understand yet.” Mustel points out that there is support for cutting legal costs, which is what no-fault insurance is designed to do.

Here’s the breakdown of the answers to each question.

A) Increasing driver premiums
Strongly support: 1.9%
Somewhat support: 21.9%
Somewhat oppose: 23.2%
Strongly oppose: 45.1%
Don’t know: 3.7%
Refuse: 4.3%

B) High-risk drivers pay more, and low-risk drivers pay less
Strongly support: 68.4%
Somewhat support: 25.5%
Somewhat oppose: 2.8%
Strongly oppose: 1.5%
Don’t know: 1.4%
Refuse: 0.4%

C) Putting a cap on minor-injury claims
Strongly support: 32.7%
Somewhat support: 36.7%
Somewhat oppose: 13.2%
Strongly oppose: 9.1%
Don’t know: 6.5%
Refuse: 1.9%

D) Cut legal and autobody repair costs
Strongly support: 36.8%
Somewhat support: 33.7%
Somewhat oppose: 9.6%
Strongly oppose: 9.2%
Don’t know: 9.7%
Refuse: 1.0%

E) A “no-fault” insurance scheme (which restricts a person’s right to sue)
Strongly support: 17.7%
Somewhat support: 25.0%
Somewhat oppose: 14.4%
Strongly oppose: 19.1%
Don’t know: 21.0%
Refuse: 2.8%