Losses could be $1.3 billion

British Columbia's public auto insurer is projecting $1.3 billion in net losses by the end of the current fiscal year.

The Insurance Corporation of B.C. says the "sizeable and significant loss" is evidence of the growing financial pressures that came from a rapid increase in the number of collisions in the province, and the rising costs of those claims.

It says the number of claims filed is increasing by thousands every year, with the cost of injury claims closing in on $3 billion annually.

The number of large loss claims with an average payout of $450,000 have spiked by 80 per cent in the last 12 months.

The corporation says $935 million in net losses have already accumulated in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, signalling that premiums are not covering payouts.

The auto insurer asked the provincial utilities commission to hike basic rates last fall to combat its financial crisis, which Attorney General David Eby has previously said is the fault of the former Liberal government.

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