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Public auto insurance is the best, provided it is executed well


06:39

Public auto insurance is the best, provided it is executed well

The IBC or the Insurance Bureau of Canada has been actively convincing the British Columbians since the last four years stating that the private insurance system provides the best service and would be much better than ICBC. However, there seems to be overwhelming evidence to show that when the government takes up something and does it right, the choice between private and public would become quite obvious.

Just last week Lindsay Olso had argued on behalf of the IBC and stated that the insurance rates in B.C. would actually decline if it had to come under the private system. Olson argued on behalf of Insurance Bureau of Canada but when you go through the research conducted by neutral, independent organizations such as the Consumers’ Association of Canada, the numbers given by IBC simply doesn’t add up. The CAC studies have shown how the auto insurance rates vary across the different states throughout the country even if it is the same driver driving the same vehicle holding the same driving record.

Time and again it has been seen that B.C. along with the rest of the provinces that had public insurance systems had come way ahead when compared to those states with private insurance. For instance, CAC has found that the insurance rates in the Maritimes were up by 45% when compared to Manitoba, Saskatchewan, as well as here in B.C.

In Ontario, the average rates were more than double when compared to what we pay. But the IBC likes you to believe otherwise. It claims that competition will ultimately result in rates that are lower and that the oversight of private insurance is very strong etc. But the actual fact is that these large corporations are governed by shareholders and not the British Columbians. Due to a variety of reasons the insurance rates under these systems are bound to be higher than what we currently enjoy under ICBC today.

Although it is true that some drivers may be able to get cheaper insurance rates in some places such as Alberta for instance, but even in those rare cases it is because the driver is considered to be low-risk by the private insurers. The coverage offered by private insurance is far superior when compared to the basic package offered by ICBC.

The IBC also argues that these provinces which had private insurance had better records in terms of road safety. But the fact is that ICBC makes huge investments to ensure road safety and invested $9 million during 2010 alone.

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