today, to a no-fault, comprehensive care
approach. Along that continuum are
various “hybrid” approaches.
While moving to a pure no-fault,
comprehensive-care system looks to be
off the map, the adversarial model cur-
rently in place no longer
delivers optimal outcomes
in terms of ICBC’s man-
date. Broadening access to
private insurance providers
also appears to be a non-
Other than those two
polarities, a range of
measures remain on the
table. In addition to work
looking at product rede-
sign, there is also work
underway to help make
B.C.’s auto insurance rates
fairer for all. This work,
still in its early days, will
include consultation with
many stakeholders, including brokers.
At this stage, planning for effective
forums for that consultation has just be-
gun. “The next step is… for government
and the corporation to discuss with
stakeholders and the public additional
ways to create a fairer insurance system
for all drivers,” says MacPhail.
of the day. The EY report recommends
doubling the number of cameras and
operating them full time – the latter of
those two options has al-
ready been committed to.
Along with variable speed
limits and point-to-point
speed systems, the corpo-
ration could see an annual
improvement in revenues
of $150 million.
ICBC could find another $100 million annually
through the hiring of 100
new full-time employees for
the Integrated Road Safety
Unit program, “Safe Work”
programs, and road infrastructure countermeasures
such as rumble strips.
The bigger, and more
complex, challenge is product redesign
– long overdue according to MacPhail.
“In the past decades virtually every other
jurisdiction has made changes. We can
learn from their experience,” she says.
Outcomes exist on a continuum
ranging from an adversarial, tort-based
system, like the one we have in B.C.
There is, however, the general direction set by the EY report – and more
specific measures the corporation can
engage in to meet the mandate of delivering effective and affordable insurance.
“I am not prepared to accede the point
that we are going to see a rate change,”
Accordingly, the EY report presents a
guideline for product redesign.
Under B.C.’s current adversarial system, the focus by the claimant tends to
be on maximizing the award as opposed
to the effectiveness of treatment. There
are no caps on benefits awarded by the
courts. First-party accident benefits are
typically low, leaving at-fault drivers
with limited benefits to access.
Under hybrid systems, caps on certain
benefits, such as pain and suffering, may
be introduced to help control costs and
ensure premiums remain affordable.
These caps typically only apply to minor
injuries. Discussion with MacPhail
indicates that such caps would seem to
have become a serious consideration –
particularly given the alarming rise in
number of minor injury claims and the
burgeoning payouts on each claim.
Capping payouts on minor injury pain
and suffering claims appears to be a
likely target. But hard-lining the market
While the number
of accidents on
B.C. roads has
been rising, more
alarming is that
the number of
filed has been
rising faster than
the number of
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