BC Broker talks with ICBC Chair Joy MacPhail
on the challenges facing B.C.’s public auto insurer.
By Blake Desaulniers
Staring down the twin barrels of escalating claims costs and a mandate to deliver accessible, affordable vehicle insurance to B.C. drivers, the government-run Insurance
Corporation of British Columbia finds
itself under a $1.5 billion gun to adapt.
A report released July 10 this year,
entitled ICBC: Affordable and effective
auto insurance – A new road forward for
British Columbia 1 by EY Consultants,
That, according to ICBC’s new Chair
of the Board Joy MacPhail, is not the
road the corporation intends to travel.
She was appointed in July to lead the
ICBC board as part of Premier John
Horgan’s installation of new leadership at major Crown corporations and
government organizations shortly after
he took office. MacPhail served as an
MLA from 1991 to 2005 and in that time
held several ministerial roles, including
Minister of Health, Minister of Finance
and Deputy Premier, for the B.C. NDP.
Her mandate, outlined in a letter from
Minister Responsible for ICBC David
Eby on August 23, includes reviewing
the EY report and other information
on ICBC’s performance and status to
“determine the actions that need to be
taken to help ensure that ICBC as a com-
mercial Crown corporation is viable and
efficient, and that the costs of vehicle
insurance to British Columbians are
both fair and reasonable.”
“For decades ICBC has been very ef-
fective. We can return the corporation
to being viable, fair, and affordable,” she
How exactly that occurs remains, so
far, largely unanswered. The EY report,
however, provides a road map.
The report details a number of causes
for ICBC’s dire straits. Leading the hit
parade are, at number two, rapid cost
escalation of minor injury claims; and,
at number one, legal costs.
Fully 24% of ICBC’s outlay goes to pay
legal bills. That’s money, as MacPhail
Crossroads at the