ICBC posts net loss of $582 million

ICBC reported today that it posted a net loss of $582 million for the first six months of the fiscal year.

ICBC reported Friday, that it has posted a net loss of $582 million for the first six months of the current fiscal year (April 1 to Sept. 30, 2018).

According to a statement from the Crown insurer the loss is “reflective of the continued pressure ICBC is under from the rising number and cost of claims”.

Attorney General David Eby went on to say that the primary reasons are higher bodily injury costs, as well as claims taking longer to resolve, which often result in higher claims costs. A key driver of these costs is a growing trend toward plaintiff lawyers strategically building the value of the claim – costs which have to be paid for by ICBC ratepayers.

“For too long, financial problems at ICBC were ignored and hidden from the public, resulting in a $1.3-billion net loss in 2017-18. Unfortunately, ICBC’s second-quarter results for 2018-19 show that its financial position remains serious,” said Eby.

“These trends are becoming more severe. Since March 2017, the dollar value of settlements demanded by plaintiff lawyers for litigated files increased by 27 per cent . The average cost of closed litigated injury claims for the first six months of ICBC’s fiscal year rose from $100,427 in 2017 to $121,686 in 2018, a 21 per cent increase. Plaintiff counsel are also spending more to build their files, increasing their average cost of experts and reports by 20 per cent.”

Read more: ICBC in ‘financial dumpster fire’: minister

Read more: ICBC claims hit 4,200 after acid spills on B.C. highway

Read more: ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

ICBC’s net claims incurred for the first six months of its fiscal year alone topped $3 billion, an increase of $634 million, or 26 per cent, over the same period last year.

“Given this situation, we are looking for ways to accelerate and add to our efforts to solve the financial problems at ICBC,” added Eby.

“Earlier this year, our government announced a suite of product changes to stem ICBC’s losses, provide enhanced care for people injured in crashes and to make insurance rates fairer. As a result of these changes, ICBC is projecting net savings of $1 billion annually. However, we won’t start seeing these savings until after most of the reforms take effect, starting April 1, 2019, after which we can expect more dramatic financial improvement.”

This significant financial loss comes after ICBC reported a net loss of $1.3 billion for its 2017/18 fiscal year, and means ICBC is now projecting to report a year-end financial net loss of $890 million for 2018/19.

“It is now clear that this government needs to look for even more ways – beyond what is already planned – to further reduce the escalating cost of claims,” said Eby.

“Our government is making different choices that will stem ICBC’s losses. We will continue to monitor ICBC’s financial situation and we are taking steps toward making B.C.’s auto insurance system work for people again.”

ICBC states that there are no signs that the ongoing and increasing claims cost pressures ICBC is experiencing, will abate without the major reform to the auto insurance product in British Columbia which government and ICBC are implementing.

“While our current financial pressures are clearly serious, they have been caused by an auto insurance system which has long been in need of substantial modernization – something that is now, at last, happening,” writes the auto insurer.

“These changes will shift the focus away from maximizing payouts to a care-based system – which makes taking care of people injured in a crash the top priority, with more money for the treatments and support they need to get better and less spent on legal costs.”

The government and ICBC are also modernizing ICBC’s 30 year-old insurance system to ensure all drivers pay premiums which more accurately reflect the risk they represent on the road.

In addition, a number of road safety initiatives are underway, aimed at lowering crashes and mitigating the current financial pressures on ICBC.

The growing claims costs pressures ICBC is facing will also need to be addressed with the next basic rate application which is due with the British Columbia Utilities Commission by December 15.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

From the Hill: The millstone of a cannabis conviction

Richard Cannings writes about records expungement for cannabis convictions

Tips for avoiding Canada Revenue Agency scams

Grand Forks RCMP are asking residents to be vigilant.

Grand Forks celebrates the holidays with Santa Claus parade, light up

The Christmas tradition was a hit on Friday night.

RDKB receives funding for disaster response ‘work space’ in Midway

The work space and storage will be used by disaster response volunteers.

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

UBC study could spare cancer patients from side effects of radiation

Her research has drawn a connection of Chromosome 6 genes to pulmonary fibrosis susceptibility.

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla, Highway 3

Make sure to equip winter tires if travelling

‘Laverne & Shirley’ star, ‘Big’ director Penny Marshall dies

Marshall died of complications from diabetes on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, at her Hollywood Hills home. She was 75.

B.C. Court of Appeal to rule in terror case that centres on RCMP conduct

B.C.’s appeal court is scheduled to release a decision today on a couple whose guilty verdict over plotting to blow up the provincial legislature was thrown out by a lower court judge.

Trump backs off on demand for $5 billion to build a border wall

Congress and President Donald Trump continue to bicker over his demand that lawmakers fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Canadian detained in China, not clear if related to two other detentions

Reports suggest the person is not a diplomat or entrepreneur doing business in China.

Trudeau sees 2019 election as choice between positive Liberals, divisive Tories

Trudeau is drawing much the same battle lines that propelled the Liberals to a come-from-behind victory in 2015

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

Most Read