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Old 04-25-2015, 10:57 PM   #1
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Newcomer to B.C. ‘totally outraged’ at ICBC motorcycle rates

Newcomer to B.C. ‘totally outraged’ at ICBC motorcycle rates
BY FRANK LUBA, THE PROVINCE APRIL 23, 2015



Darryl Smith knew that when he retired to Parksville from Calgary, things could be more expensive in B.C. than in Alberta.

But he couldn’t believe what it would cost to ensure his motorcycle, a 1,600 cc 2009 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider.

Just the most basic insurance, with a $200,000 third-party liability, would be $800 for six months compared to $300 for 12 months in Alberta.

Smith, 62, could add extended coverage including collision, fire and theft for about another $150 in Alberta. He’s received a quote from a private insurer in B.C. that would get him that coverage — for $389 with a $1,000 deductible or $428 for a $500 deductible.

“I’m totally outraged,” said the former oil and gas industry worker, who was in electrical engineering.

“I’ve talked to a lot of guys out here. They all pay the same rate. They just feel the ICBC is a cash cow at the expense of motorcyclists.”

Smith was mad enough to try reach B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone to discuss the situation.

Stone didn’t respond, although a spokeswoman from his ministry eventually wrote back to the unhappy new British Columbian and talked in an email about the “challenge in trying (to) compare insurance rates across jurisdictions.

“Each province offers unique insurance product(s) that provide different benefits,” said the spokeswoman.

She pointed out that basic insurance in B.C. provides medical coverage up to $150,000, while Alberta offer only $50,000.

ICBC spokesman Adam Grossman said B.C. provides “what we believe to be the best insurance coverage in Canada.”

Grossman said: “It’s also worth noting that Alberta’s insurance system limits what payment someone receives when they’re in a crash.

“Their system has a cap on pain and suffering awards, which is not the case in B.C. where drivers are entitled to take the at-fault party to court for damages,” he said in an email. “No other province in Canada offers this option to the same extent.”

ICBC’s official position is that its rates are also higher because the riding season is longer in the Lower Mainland and parts of the Vancouver Island, increasing the chance of an accident and the cost of a premium.

Part of the confusion around insurance, whether it be for motorcycles or automobiles, is that the rules are dictated by provincial legislation and shifts from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

There is also purely private insurance, like in Alberta or Ontario, public insurance like in Manitoba or a blend like in B.C., where basic insurance can be purchased from ICBC but extended coverage can be bought from private insurers.

While Smith can get cheaper optional insurance privately, there are often conditions that apply to that coverage — such as whether the applicant has had ticket violations or covered, secured parking.

The Dalton Timmis Insurance Group has offices in Ontario and Calgary, but also offers policies in Nova Scotia.

When asked for a quote on a bike like Smith’s, their rates differed in each province.

Alberta offers only annual policies, with $160 quoted for basic coverage. Optional insurance of another $550 would include $1-million third-party liability, collision and comprehensive for fire and theft — with $500 deductibles on the collision and comprehensive.

Ontario has three insurance zones: rural, urban and the Greater Toronto Area. Rural coverage for Smith’s bike would be about $1,000, moving to $1,100 in an urban zone and $1,400 in the GTA. Each carries $1 million third-party liability and $1,000 deductibles for collision and comprehensive.

In Nova Scotia, Smith’s bike could be insured for $700 a year with $1 million in third-party liability but $1,000 deductibles for collision and comprehensive.

Newcomer to B.C. ?totally outraged? at ICBC motorcycle rates
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:10 PM   #2
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Finally an article about automotive insurance that actually compares pricing throughout Canada, and even different parts of a province. Too many articles are merely click bait when it comes to hot topics like this and say nothing more than "OMGZICBCCHARGESWAYTOOMUCHWAAAAH!" The comparison between medical coverage for basic insurance was also a nice touch. Too many people still complain that ICBC charges too much (which, in some instances, I'll admit they do), but they fail to realize that private insurance companies can and will give you fewer benefits on basic coverage.
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:59 PM   #3
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Newcomer to B.C. ‘totally outraged’ at ICBC motorcycle rates
BY FRANK LUBA, THE PROVINCE APRIL 23, 2015


Their system has a cap on pain and suffering awards, which is not the case in B.C. where drivers are entitled to take the at-fault party to court for damages,” he said in an email. “No other province in Canada offers this option to the same extent.”

ICBC’s official position is that its rates are also higher because the riding season is longer in the Lower Mainland and parts of the Vancouver Island, increasing the chance of an accident and the cost of a premium.

Newcomer to B.C. ?totally outraged? at ICBC motorcycle rates
That's a lie. BC has a cap on pain and suffering like the rest of Canada. You can take the person to court but under pain and suffering, there's a 350k limit. So if you're left a vegetable after an accident, your pain and suffering is only worth 350k.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:39 AM   #4
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That's a lie. BC has a cap on pain and suffering like the rest of Canada. You can take the person to court but under pain and suffering, there's a 350k limit. So if you're left a vegetable after an accident, your pain and suffering is only worth 350k.
Technically true, but while there's a limit on non-pecuniary damages, you're able to offset the difference with settlements on future care, lost future wages, and so-forth. To be fair, this may be the same in other provinces... I just don't know. What I do know is that it's still possible for very large settlements to be made through ICBC. A friend's mom was in two major not-at-fault accidents in a very short amount of time and ICBC was eventually left holding the bag on a high dollar payment due to a lifetime now on heavy pain medications and loss of major future income.
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Old 04-26-2015, 02:27 AM   #5
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Just the most basic insurance, with a $200,000 third-party liability, would be $800 for six months compared to $300 for 12 months in Alberta.

<snip>

ICBC’s official position is that its rates are also higher because the riding season is longer in the Lower Mainland and parts of the Vancouver Island, increasing the chance of an accident and the cost of a premium.
I feel like that's a significant point, of course a year in Alberta will be cheaper than 6 months on the Island when the riding season in Alberta is a hell of a lot shorter. It's pretty easy to give someone a deal on a year of insurance when you know full well it's impossible for it to be used for 8 months of that. Meanwhile the guys on the Island could be out damn near any day of the year.

You're also arguably more likely to crash in BC, since we actually have things like corners and hills so our roads aren't boring as hell.
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Old 04-26-2015, 02:37 AM   #6
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That's a lie. BC has a cap on pain and suffering like the rest of Canada. You can take the person to court but under pain and suffering, there's a 350k limit. So if you're left a vegetable after an accident, your pain and suffering is only worth 350k.
They aren't talking about that. There is a cap on minor soft tissue injuries of $4,000 in Alberta. BC has no such cap. But you are correct that there's an upper limit of $100,000 in 1978 dollars which is roughly $353k for general (commonly called pain and suffering) damages.
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Old 04-26-2015, 07:57 AM   #7
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The thing that I find most interesting in this article is the fact dude who has probably lived and worked in Alberta most, if not all of his life, decides to retire in Parksville. I've been to Parksville and Calgary. Parksville and its surrounding area is 101 million times better than anywhere in Alberta.

Frankly, I am sick and tired of listening to people who move here from god forsaken parts of our country whine about everything under the sun about our part of the world. Just go back to your sub zero temperatures and your flat and boring hole in the corner of nowhere. You made your money in a province with little to no taxes to live here in a much better place only to bitch and complain? Riding a motorcycle in such a beautiful part of this country = heaven. Standing on a bluff overlooking a gorge and smelling the fresh, rainforest air is hella better than standing on a dusty road looking at heat waves and mirages.

Next, this guy will complain about the healthcare system in this province and the driving habits of the people here.

Just pay the insurance and enjoy the Island for its pristine natural beauty. The smartest thing this guy did was to move here in his retirement.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:48 AM   #8
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:58 AM   #9
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The worst are the people who retire to the Gulf Islands (Saltspring, Gabriola, etc.) and then bitch about ferry rates.

Don't like the ferry rates? Don't live on an island that doesn't offer the services and products you want/need.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:54 AM   #10
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I just learned that the ferry ride BACK from the sunshine coast is free hahahaha.
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:47 AM   #11
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You must have a pretty simple life if this is what "outrages" you.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:47 PM   #12
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This guy should just go back to Alberta then, if motorcycle insurance is such an inconvenience... like someone else said above, the riding season in the Lower Mainland is a lot longer than it would be in most of Alberta - a lot of my friends who ride were out by early March last year and ended around October.

Not to mention the Lower Mainland is just (and obviously I'm biased here) a much better place than Alberta, I could probably buy a massive mansion in Alberta with enough left over to buy two lifted brodozer trucks and a kilo of cocaine (so I could fit in) for the price of a tiny bungalow on the Island. A lot of people instantly scream "foreign investors!" but realistically there is a reason that the location is worth more... because it's simply better lol.
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Old 04-26-2015, 02:30 PM   #13
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I could probably buy a massive mansion in Alberta with enough left over to buy two lifted brodozer trucks and a kilo of cocaine (so I could fit in) for the price of a tiny bungalow on the Island. A lot of people instantly scream "foreign investors!" but realistically there is a reason that the location is worth more... because it's simply better lol.
Real estate is not that bad on the Island. For the price of a Vancouver Crack shack you can buy a water front house.
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Old 04-26-2015, 02:35 PM   #14
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don't take this so personally, it's not BC vs the world.

he is most likely referring to the fact that BC is one of the few non-competition places for so much, and how this distorts prices (young people pay too little (subsidized), more experienced "safer" drivers pay too much).

I, for one, feel the same way as he does - insurance is a joke in BC. it has nothing to do with income earned elsewhere or taxes paid, insurance should cover your risk, and competition would create better prices and service.
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Old 04-26-2015, 02:40 PM   #15
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Real estate is not that bad on the Island. For the price of a Vancouver Crack shack you can buy a water front house.
$300k will buy you a ~1500-2000 sq. ft. house on 1/8-1/4 acre lot in a decent neighbourhood (except greater Victoria), maybe a little bit larger w/ more land if you go away from the island highway (i.e. Lake Cowichan, Port Alberni, etc.)

$270k got us an okay 800 sq. ft. condo near a Skytrain station in Burnaby in 2006. Sold it for $290k in 2010. Same condo is currently listed at $299k.
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Old 04-26-2015, 02:47 PM   #16
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ICBC generates $3.721 billion revenue (2010) a year.

Sure, ICBC might offer $150k instead of $50k for medical coverage, but is it worth the price difference? Hell no.
ICBC knows the probability of people getting into an accident that is worth more than $50k(or $150k) medical cost.

ICBC Monopoly is what people have problem with.
Sure, motorcycles can't be ridden during the winter in Alberta, but is that really why ICBC is charging more?
Because people still drive cars in the winter, and ICBC still charges more for car insurance.

Some people might argue how ICBC offers more coverage, blah blah blah....but that doesn't come for free, or at fair price.
ICBC dominates this market and has 100% market share for basic auto insurance.

We have no option but to go to ICBC, that's what people have problem with. Because they're government, ICBC has way too much power, beyond just being an auto insurance company.
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Old 04-26-2015, 04:21 PM   #17
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