Legislation brings more auto insurance options for British Columbians

VANCOUVER, June 5, 2007 – Canada’s private home, car and business insurers welcome new legislation that came into effect June 1. Bill 93, adopted in 2003, aims to clearly separate basic insurance from optional insurance products to give British Columbia drivers more options regarding their insurance coverage.

Bill 93 ensures that optional insurance policies sold by private insurers and ICBC are governed by the same legislation and regulations, thus promoting a level playing field. Prior to Bill 93, ICBC and private insurers were ruled by two separate acts. For consumers, Bill 93 will allow for more flexibility to find more competitive optional insurance packages for their auto insurance.

“The provincial government has taken positive measures to bring more options to drivers,” said Lindsay Olson, Vice-President, British Columbia and Yukon, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “Drivers should now be in a better position to compare the cost of their optional insurance coverage and find the one that is best suited for their needs and budget. Competition and choice have already been beneficial for B.C. drivers with private insurers helping drive optional insurance rates downward.”

While Bill 93 brings positive changes to the auto insurance landscape in British Columbia, ICBC’s monopoly on mandatory coverage remains unchanged.

“Bill 93 is a step in the right direction, but there is much more that can be done to bring healthy competition into the B.C. insurance market,” said Olson. “B.C. drivers are still paying among the highest basic auto-insurance rates in Canada. If the B.C. government opened the market to other insurance companies, motorists would be able to shop around for lower insurance rates.”

Insurance Bureau of Canada will monitor the implementation of Bill 93 and its enabling regulations to ensure that the government’s stated goal of more competition and choice for B.C. drivers is not impeded by ICBC’s continued monopoly on basic insurance.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada:
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association for the private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents insurers who provide more than 90 percent of the non-government home, car and business insurance in Canada. For more information, visit www.ibc.ca.