Drivers with speeding tickets or other traffic violations will be hit with higher insurance rates if a proposal by the Insurance Corp. of B.C. is approved.
The proposal will go to the B.C. Utilities Commission later this year and is part of a major company restructuring plan the insurance provider announced Wednesday.
Under the insurance provider’s current claim-rated scale, a driver moves down the scale for each year he or she does not make an at-fault crash claim. Every claim-free year increases the discount by five per cent until the driver reaches the maximum basic insurance discount.
Under the new proposed plan, called the “driving record model,” speeding and traffic violations would be included.
Mark Jan Vrem, spokesman for ICBC, said the change comes after years of customer surveys.
“We realized to be a successful insurance company, we have to be customer-focused and customer-based,” said Jan Vrem.
“We’re modernizing our company to better serve them based on the feedback we’re getting.”
One common complaint was customers felt it wasn’t fair that good drivers paid the same rate as drivers with a history of collisions and traffic violations, Jan Vrem said.
In response, ICBC will go to the B.C. Utilities Commission — which sets and regulates ICBC’s basic rates — in late spring or early fall with the driving record model proposal.
“The premiums that you pay will be reflective of your risk as a driver on the road,” Jan Vrem said. “If you’re in a number of collisions, or you receive a number of traffic violations, you’re going to be paying more than drivers who don’t.
“It will essentially follow the driver’s history. In other words, the policy will be on the driver, as opposed to the car.”
He said the driving record model will paint a more comprehensive picture of a driver’s history than the existing model.
Jan Vrem could not provide an estimate of what the revised rates or potential savings might be, noting each policy will be slightly different and the corporation is still “working [its] way through different scenarios.”
If approved, Jan Vrem estimates the driving record model to roll out in 2013 or 2014.
The “new” ICBC will also include a new, streamlined claims system that will allow customers the option of processing their claims in person, on the phone or online.
“There will be less paperwork, fewer processes,” Jan Vrem said. “They won’t have to go back to ICBC two or three times to deal with their claim. Eventually, our customers will be able to track the process of their claims as they go through the system, much the same way you can track a FedEx package.”
The new claims system is expected to go online in the third quarter of 2012, Jan Vrem said.
ICBC’s workforce will be reduced by about 350 jobs, including 70 management positions, over the next three years due to normal departures, including retirement and voluntary turnover. These positions will not be filled, due to “new technologies and systems,” according to an information bulletin posted on ICBC’s website.