Building Trust, Driving Confidence

ICBC LogoICBC's current corporate slogan is "Building Trust, Driving Confidence." Pair that with this week's announcement of a $582 million loss for the first six months of the corporation's fiscal year and one begins to wonder about the confidence part. That loss is being blamed on the rising number and cost of claims.

Laying the blame there is probably the easiest thing to do and the least likely to require a lot of explanation.

ICBC rates are set by the BC Utilities Commission, which is ultimately controlled by the provincial government. That's the same government that took dividends out of ICBC coffers that could have been invested by the corporation and the profits used to pay insurance claims.

Our provincial government also controls many other facets of this issue. Driver licensing, policing, traffic laws, highway design and maintenance to name a few.

So, who's in the driver's seat and where are they taking us? Are we happy with the direction of travel?

There are three ways to reduce this deficit, take in more money, reduce costs and quit running into each other or other things.

No one wants to pay more for their vehicle insurance. This is a relatively immediate consequence and one that we feel acutely. It's easy to complain about as it's visible to us all regularly.

Let's make the high risk driver pay a high risk premium. Ditto for those who actually cause a crash. They should pay more too. Good drivers should pay the smallest premium.

Recently, reducing costs has come in the form of paying less for claims. This is a little more palatable because we're all better than average drivers and perhaps this isn't seen as something that will directly affect us. Someone else will pay the price regardless of whether they are the culprit or the victim.

Finally we come to a very complicated problem, how to reduce or eliminate collisions. Vision Zero. The most certain way to reduce insurance rates.

People make mistakes. Despite our best intentions bad things can happen and this is why we buy insurance.

The reduction of these mistakes and the minimization of the consequences of those that do happen will be a long process. Safe highways, safe vehicles, safe speeds and safe users all combine to produce the safe systems of Vision Zero.

I can make a difference immediately if I try. I realize that driving is a team effort, not an individual one. I won't be selfish and I'll share the road. I will even try to put others first if there is a need to.

Will you?

Link of Interest:


Submitted by E-Mail

Having spent more than 50 years in the business both in the private and public sector, I would make this observation: As long as we keep the tort system, which studies have shown, over-compensates those with minor injuries and under-compensates those with major or catastrophic injuries, the system is not going to work.

Both Manitoba and Saskatchewan were facing huge rate hikes. The politicians, afraid of the public backlash scrapped the tort system and introduced a no-fault system to compensate persons injured by automobiles. Both Provinces now have stable, financially viable insurance plans.

And don’t get me started on the money the lawyers are sucking out of ICBC coffers. Look at the money law firms are spending on advertising. Where do you think that money is coming from?

Submitted by E-Mail

Yes, my opinion is that you need to charge a lot more for insurance for those expensive cars that are in Richmond, BC.  We, the regular people, drive regular cars which are less expensive to repair, if an unfortunately accident happens.  

Another way to reduce costs is to reduce the salaries of the upper management who are probably making far too much for what they do.  It is often the workforce who do all the work.

Submitted by E-Mail

Interesting commentary on safety, but its not always only drivers, sometimes it is stupid engineering.

I was in an accident in June that was not my fault. Despite the other driver being at fault, I feel the real reason was a bad intersection. A legal left hand turn out a fast lane on a 4 lane 100 kph hwy.

After my accident, the local papers & TV in Kamloops mentioned that the government had been written several letters about this particular location. I also sent a letter to the highways minister plus my dash cam video, and heard nothing back, no response, no acknowledgement, Nada.

In the video you can see the red pickup caused the accident. I cannot tell if he felt he was going to rear end the jeep turning left or simply was impatient. Regardless a legal left out of the fast lane at the bottom of hill is crazy, you can see all the previous skid marks if you look closely.

I was towing an 8000 lb trailer. I would have killed him had I not swerved right. May have t-boned the left hand turner had I gone left.

Nearly killed myself in the process. The RCMP was amazed i came out alive with only whiplash and a concussion and no life threatening injuries.

Submitted by E-Mail

Yes-shared responsibility. I have given up on politicians being concerned about road safety-_Drive defensively.

Roll with Trailer

Wow.  Unbelievably lucky and quick reaction, impressive.  I would imagine it took some time to collect yourself after that.  Why is there not at the very least a designated left turn lane?  Out in the middle of a passing lane this turn is permitted, how crazy is that? 

Impossible situation, what is the right thing to do?

If you had held position in your lane and smacked square into back end of the pickup that suddenly switched into that lane, then the outcome would have been better even if you damaged his vehicle and himself.

In particular, I notice that your following distance and space margins were more than adequate; you can't say that for the other players in this scenario.

This crash was not your fault, in any way; you did your best to avoid it.

Submitted by E-Mail

First and foremost, ICBC needs to redefine whether it wants to call driving being a privilege or a right.

Where I came from driving is a privilege which means that I may be deprived of the ability to operate a motor vehicle if I chose not to abide by rules under which my driver's license is granted.

ICBC should get out of insuring owners of supercar who have bad driving records. The Corporation cannot continue pretending to be a charitable organization with policies of getting the driving public to pay for bad drivers. Give higher premium discount to reward the good and experienced drivers; increase premium for bad drivers and, repeat offenders. Send these offenders back to driving school when necessary.

Create province wide joint effort projects with municipalities to invest and promote pedestrian education and cyclist education so that all road users are equally informed on the rules of the law on roads and wheels. At this point, all motorists consider pedestrians and cyclists are ignorant about their responsibility on road usage.

If ICBC is considered a crown owned corporation then the entire province is the stakeholder.

For instance, the bus stops in the Metro Vancouver areas are NOT installed at strategic locations with road safety for pedestrians/riders as the prime objectives. That indicates the transit authority never consulted the City in its bus stop planning and logistics. The result of which creates road rage, traffic congestion, pedestrian and rider casualties.

Having grown up and lived in Asia and the UK respectively, their bus stops are all purposefully planned to avoid congestion due to high density usage by vehicles and people. All bus stops are coved in with weather shelter. They are always located away from an intersection to avert backing up by the arrival of multiple vehicles at the stop. Thus, creating traffic and pedestrian jamming the intersection.....a potential casualty trap.

A pedestrian controlled crossing to facilitate riders to cross the road at mid-block for connecting to other routes.

There is a good pedestrian controlled crossing example at the Brighouse Canada Line Terminus in Richmond, but sadly the bus stop there is NOT coved in. This creates traffic congestion all the time right in the centre of the city. A typical example of failing to consult the city prior to locating the bus transfer stop.

Create policies aiming at allowing private insurance companies to do business by providing insurance for bad drivers.

If private insurance company can blackball bad drivers, why can't ICBC?

Make driving suspension stiffer, which may only be revokable through a Special Tribunal that will be responsible for reassessing the merit of granting the driving privilege to rehabbed drivers.

Honestly, if ICBC feels bonuses have to be given to management as incentives to boost productivity and profit, then there is something wrong with the incentive formula. It is unacceptable. That needs to have a wholesale overhaul.

Is there a lawyer in the house?

I was just thinking about this:

ICBC rates are set by the BC Utilities Commission, which is ultimately controlled by the provincial government. That's the same government that took dividends out of ICBC coffers that could have been invested by the corporation and the profits used to pay insurance claims.

Can anyone tell me why there hasn't been a class action lawsuit brought by vehicle owners against the Provincial Government, demanding that every cent that they skimmed off from ICBC be returned to the corporation now, with interest?

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