BC Insurer looks at penalizing vehicle drivers in an accident instead of owners
March 22, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
In a sweeping public consultation effort, the British Columbia government is investigating changes to the insurance regime in BC. The changes include a wide range of things including driver discounts, driver-based insurance and the rules applied to the ‘free’ at fault accidents that drivers may have in their policies.
The underlying reason that these changes are being considered is that drivers want to see bad drivers paying more, and good drivers paying less. How to measure the good and bad drivers is a big questions. 'Rate fairness' as its being called will take into account many factors including driver experience, claims made by driers, serious and minor convictions on a driver abstract, senior and low risk driver discounts, and an overhaul of what is considered by all parties of the rating system in the province.
The province is also considering the establishment of a system where the driver of the vehicle is penalized in an accident rather than the owner of a vehicle. Currently, the owner of a vehicle insures the car and is responsible through their insurance for any accident damages. This means that anyone borrowing a car in an accident faces no penalty on their own insurance if they crash a borrowed car. The ICBC records show that 20% of all car accidents involve a non-owner driving at least one vehicle.
The proposed changes would require car owners to list specifically on their policies all people who drive the car. If there is an accident with an unlisted driver the owner faces a one-time fee. This fee would be larger if it turns out the non-listed driver (spouse, child, parent) shares the residence with the car owner. This means the driver who is insured not the vehicle.
Another major shift being considered by the BC government is that under the ICBC policy drivers can be forgiven on at fault accident every 13 years. The provincial government is looking to increase that to once every 20 years. They would also like to increase the interval it takes to return to pre-crash insurance rates from the current three years to ten years.
With an Ontario provincial election coming, and with auto insurance on all three of our political parties’ radar it is interesting to see if any of them propose some of these ideas. You can read all about the ICBC proposals on their website here.
|Posted under Accident Benefit News
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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.
It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.