ICBC - Soon to be the Only Game in Town?
Belair Direct, the auto insurance arm of Intact Insurance has announced that it will stop selling auto policies in BC effective December 1, 2020 and renewing policies on January 1, 2021. They see ICBC’s recent regulatory changes and the province’s current auto insurance market conditions as having reduced opportunities for the private sector to compete.
The Fraser Institute has released a report titled Reforming BC Auto Insurance to Benefit Consumers that explains:
Unfortunately, ICBC has placed a major obstacle to competition by its unwillingness to share drivers’ records with other insurers. Such records are vital to insurers trying to sort bad drivers from good. This lack of information sharing has already stifled the competition from private insurers allowed to do business in the optional market. It will do the same if competition is permitted in the larger basic market. Unless this obstacle is removed, private insurers cannot be significant competitors in the basic insurance mar-ket and may avoid the market entirely. Information sharing among insurers must be part of any reform to introduce competition.
ICBC surrently permits drivers to download a driving history and a claims record on line. This could be provided to private insurers when applying for or renewing a policy.
BC Policy Perspectives: