Although the Insurance Bureau of Canada has tried convincing the British Columbians about private insurance being better than public insurance, this is not completely true. The IBC has spent four years in actively pushing the for-profit auto insurance system. It claims that the private insurance will provide much better services than ICBC. But that argument doesn’t hold good as there is tons of evidence to show that when it is done right public insurance is a much better option.
The IBC represents the interests of the private insurance companies and Lindsay Olson had argued on behalf of the IBC last week. Olson stated that there would be a decrease in auto insurance rates in BC if it was under the private insurance system. But these numbers don’t add up when you take a look at the independent research that has been conducted by some of the organizations like the Consumers’ Association of Canada. Studies have been conducted using the same vehicle, same driver holding the same driving record.
In all of the cases, BC as well as the rest of the provinces that have public insurance seems to be faring better than the ones with private insurance. Although the IBC wants you to believe that the rates would come down due to the competition, it is not true. This is due to the simple reason that these private insurance companies are all under the hold of their shareholders and not the British Columbians. Hence the insurance rates under this system can never beat the rates in the public insurance system or the ICBC.
There may be instances where some of the drivers may be able to get cheaper insurance rates in Alberta. But even in those rare cases where the driver gets cheaper rates as he/she is considered low-risk, the coverage is not good enough. The coverage that is offered by ICBC in their basic package is much better than what is offered by the private insurance companies. The maximum benefit that is offered for medical rehab is almost one-third of what is available in the ICBC’s basic package. This type of coverage can make a huge difference especially if you are involved in a serious accident.
The ICBC was actually created to address the problem of uninsured drivers. Their numbers were so huge that it resulted in the rates of private insurance to shoot up. There was rate discrimination based on factors such as gender, age, marital status etc.