B.C. drivers pay 42 per cent more for insurance than Albertans

By The IJ Staff | January 29 2020 02:00PM

Photo: Unsplash

A new report from accounting firm MNP says British Columbia drivers are paying up to 42 per cent more for their auto insurance than their neighbours in Alberta pay for similar coverage. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says one “key difference between the two provinces is that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), a Crown corporation, has a monopoly on mandatory auto insurance in B.C. while in Alberta, drivers have choice.”

The study obtained quotes through insurance brokers and online in each province, for 14 different driver profiles. It then compared the price of auto insurance for the same drivers with the same vehicles, and at the same coverage levels in comparable locations across both provinces.

It found that a 49-year-old small business owner in Surrey who drives a 2014 Ford F-150 would pay $1,953 in B.C., $573 more than what the same individual would pay in Calgary. Similarly, the survey found that inexperienced drivers were paying far more than drivers in Alberta. A new driver with two years of experience would pay the ICBC $4,319 to insure their 2008 Honda Civic to drive to and from school, less than 15 km. The amount is $828 more than what the same driver would pay in Calgary.

In a statement the IBC points out that the report directly contradicts the provincial insurer’s recent assertion that drivers in B.C. pay less than drivers in other provinces. “B.C. drivers pay the highest auto insurance prices in Canada, with average premiums averaging $1,832. This is far higher than premiums in Ontario, Alberta and Atlantic Canada,” the IBC writes.

Interestingly, the Alberta government recently removed the cap on rate increases in that province, they add. Since then, companies have applied for and received rate increases averaging 10.5 per cent. “These increases are included in the quotes MNP used in their analysis,” they write. “Prices shown do not include ICBC’s 2020 rate increase, expected to be announced by February 16.”

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