Taxpayers support promise to open ICBC to competition

Author: Kris Sims 2020/10/06

VANCOUVER, BC: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is applauding a pledge by the B.C. Liberals to open ICBC up to competition.

“It’s great to see a major party finally agree to stop the ICBC monopoly and open it up to competition,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “B.C. drivers pay the highest auto insurance rates in Canada and it’s unfair to deny them a chance to shop around to save money.

“All parties need to commit to opening ICBC up to competition.”

Drivers in B.C. currently have no way of avoiding ICBC and they often pay hundreds of dollars more year for their insurance than drivers do in Alberta.

A recent apples-to-apples comparison by MNP between the two provinces found examples such as:

  • A 24 year-old woman in Burnaby paying $828 more to drive her Honda Civic than she would in Calgary.
  • A 26 year-old man in Prince George paying $417 more to drive his Ford F-150 than he would in Fort McMurray
  • A 35 year-old married couple in Vancouver paying $467 more to drive their Honda Civic than they would in Calgary.
  • A 64 year-old man paying $446 more to drive his motorhome in Victoria than he would in Edmonton.

“Being stuck with the ICBC monopoly is like having one government-run grocery store chain in the whole province where you can’t price match or shop for sales,” said Sims. “Monopolies encourage prices to go up while quality goes down.”

ICBC typically loses about $1 billion per year, despite having the highest insurance rates in Canada, prompting ICBC Minister David Eby to dub it the “ICBC Dumpster Fire.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation launched a campaign to stop the ICBC monopoly in 2017, urging all political parties in British Columbia to open the Crown corporation up to competition.