A weather alert for the Okanagan has now been lifted.
Photo: Rafael Franklin

Okanagan alert lifted

A weather alert for the Okanagan has now been lifted.


On track for $1B loss

After posting its third-quarter financial results Thursday, ICBC is now on track to lose $1.18 billion during the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The Crown corporation posted an $860-million loss for the first nine months of the fiscal year, which Attorney General David Eby blames largely on escalating costs of settling personal injury claims.

Eby says these costs have risen by 43 per cent in the past five years, reaching $3.67 billion in 2018 alone.

“Until major reforms kick in on April 1 of this year, ICBC's financial situation remains critical and is worsening,” Eby said in response to the third-quarter results.

“Losses of this magnitude are unsustainable and unacceptable. They are especially frustrating given the opportunity British Columbia had to avoid these losses if the upcoming reforms had been implemented years ago when they were first recommended, instead of being buried by the previous government.”

Eby says the use of “almost unlimited experts” during litigation has increased ICBC's settling costs by 20 per cent.

“Almost half of each litigated settlement is now being absorbed by legal expenses,” Eby said. “This includes lawyers' fees, estimated contingency fees, the costs of securing and paying for expert witnesses and the costs of delay.”

Eby says the ICBC reforms coming on April 1 are expected to save ICBC more than $1 billion annually.

He notes that while privatization of auto insurance is touted by some as a solution, this may not be the case.

“Many of the significant challenges facing auto insurance in our province are also plaguing other jurisdictions in Canada,” Eby said. “Ontario, a fully privatized system, has the highest insurance rates in the country.”

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