BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson won’t tell you that his plan to privatize car insurance could result in double digit rate increases.
The Alberta Conservative government recently removed a rate cap implemented by Alberta’s NDP government, allowing rates to skyrocket up to 30 per cent.
Today the Insurance Bureau of Canada released a report comparing the cost of car insurance for B.C. and Alberta that doesn’t factor in double digit increases that were approved earlier this month.
The authors admit in a footnote on Page 12 of the report that “the impact of the removal of the cap may not be reflected in the premiums used for the comparisons.”
With double digit rate hikes for Alberta drivers and likely more on the way in future years, Alberta is on a path towards Ontario’s private system, which has “the highest insurance rates in the country,” according to Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips.
Ontario drivers were recently shocked with rate increases by private insurers – in the case of one Brampton family, a 62.5% hike.
In fact, Wilkinson’s own BC Liberal government found in a 2002 review that if ICBC was opened up to competition, “rates would increase,” leading to “significant rate shock for a number of customers.” (ICBC Core Review Recommendations, 2002)
But Wilkinson and the BC Liberals owe a lot to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, which donated $183,210 to the BC Liberal Party, including $5,000 directly to Wilkinson’s leadership bid.
The BC NDP government is working to repair the damage done to ICBC after Wilkinson’s government buried and ignored recommendations in a 2014 Ernst & Young report that could have kept rates lower for people.