In an extended interview with CTV News Vancouver, the CEO and President of ICBC is defending the Crown Corporation's new driver-based model as a more "fair system" that is "working as designed," despite the financial pressure it places on young and inexperienced drivers and their families.
The new model, which took effect Sept. 1, places a higher emphasis on an individual driver’s record and claim history, and now counts up to 40 years of experience.
Six months ago, CEO Nicolas Jimenez foresaw that roughly two-thirds of drivers would pay less for basic coverage under the new model than they would have otherwise.
And early numbers from ICBC from the first week of renewals show when it comes to basic and optional, the breakdown is closer to half and half.
“The reality is when you’re rebalancing the system, you have to assign risk and price in a better way than we did in the past,” Jimenez said.
While CTV News has interviewed experienced drivers who’ve seen their rates drop over 15 percent, great drivers with spotless records have also come forward, frustrated about why they were seeing little to no change.
And young drivers like 19-year-old Alyssa Smith and her mother Kathryn are struggling with the reality that Alyssa’s premium jumped 32 per cent overnight, to nearly $3,700 a year, in part because her year of experience as a learner is no longer factored into the new model.
We ask the CEO charged with putting out the billion-dollar ICBC “dumpster fire” to respond to British Columbians’ concerns and confusion and whether he can make any promises about making rates more affordable once the system, as is he says, is “rebalanced.”