New Insurance Model Only Days Away
August 15, 2019
By Blair Qualey
In a matter of days, a new vehicle insurance model in British Columbia will come into effect that may have an impact on your premium, based on your driving record.
ICBC is moving to a basic insurance model September 1 that is more driver-based. This means crashes follow the driver, not the vehicle, to help make sure drivers are more accountable for their behaviour on the road.
The Insurance Corporation estimates approximately three-quarters of its customers will be better off than today, with many seeing a decrease to their overall premiums. However, for those with frequent or serious driving condition, they will soon start paying more.
So how will the changes work?
Driving convictions from June 10th, 2019, going forward will have the potential to impact a customer’s optional premium, which will escalate in line with the frequency and seriousness of criminal offences. ICBC will ultimately scan back over a three-year period for driving convictions by June 10th, 2022. As a result, Criminal Code offences, impaired driving, excessive speeding and distracted driving, will result in increased premiums after the first conviction. Minor offences such as failing to stop, failing to yield, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt will only result in increased premiums if there are two or more convictions during the scan period.
Today, 10 percent of customers have either two or more minor driving convictions or have been convicted of a serious driving offence over the past three years, yet they pay the same for optional coverage as a customer with no convictions. Factoring in convictions when calculating optional insurance premiums aims to provide drivers with a financial incentive to improve their driving behaviour by avoiding higher premiums.
To ensure customers are informed about the changes coming to both basic and optional auto insurance, ICBC has expanded the content on its website. Visit www.icbc.com for more details. It has also created an online education tool at the same site, so drivers understand how the new insurance model may potentially impact them.
Other changes also include the introduction of two new discounts this September, that drivers and new car shoppers should keep in mind.
The first involves 10 percent relief for vehicles with original, manufacturer-installed autonomous emergency braking (AEB). The system uses sensors to determine if a front-end collision may be imminent and automatically applies the brakes to diminish the severity or avoid a crash entirely. While not intended to be relied on, it’s meant as a last resort in the event the driver isn’t paying attention.
ICBC has also announced a similar 10 percent discount will be applied to vehicles that are driven less than 5,000 kilometres a year – again, effective this September. If you think you may qualify, bring a current odometer reading to your broker the next time you renew your insurance.
Over the coming months, there is bound to be a great deal of commentary about the new model, but the premise of the changes – based on fairness and an equitable model for all – is one that most British Columbians likely agree with.
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Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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