Siphoning of ICBC profits slammed

Government will have pulled $1.2 billion from auto insurer by 2015: Consumers assocation

The provincial government is under fire for systematically using ICBC as a “cash cow” and causing motorists to be overcharged for auto insurance.

The Consumers’ Association of Canada noted the province has withdrawn $677 million in profits from ICBC since 2010 and will have siphoned away $1.2 billion by 2015.

“Higher vehicle insurance rates affect consumers and businesses alike as well as eliminate a key strategic provincial advantage that British Columbia has in its public automobile insurance system,” association president Bruce Cran said.

The group’s report on ICBC says the government required the public insurer to earn significant profits on optional coverage, easing the entry of private insurers while creating a pool of cash that could be transferred to general revenue.

It calls on Victoria to stop spurring ICBC to be more profitable and direct it to focus on serving customers.