Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

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Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
Type Crown corporation
Industry Insurance
Headquarters North Vancouver (city), British Columbia, Canada
Products Vehicle insurance
Revenue 3,721 million CAD (2010) [1]
Net income 361 million CAD (2010)[1]
Total assets 13,142 million CAD (2010)[1]
Employees 5,200[1]
Parent Province of British Columbia
Website http://www.icbc.com/

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is a provincial crown corporation in British Columbia created in 1973 by the NDP government of British Columbia. The original purpose of ICBC was to provide universal public auto insurance in British Columbia. Its responsibilities have expanded to include driver licensing and vehicle registration and licensing.

By law, any vehicle registered and driven or parked on public streets in British Columbia must purchase ICBC's basic insurance package from an independent broker. This basic coverage, called "Autoplan," includes protection from third party legal liability, under-insured motorist protection, accident benefits, hit-and-run protection, and inverse liability. At the time the Corporation was established, it held a monopoly on automobile insurance in the province, but in recent years private insurance firms have been permitted to offer optional additional coverage, such as extended liability, collision, and comprehensive plans. While ICBC continues to hold a monopoly on basic insurance, it has chosen to offer optional additional coverage, in competition with these firms.

Like other insurance companies, ICBC bases its premiums on a client's claims history, type of automobile, and geographic location. The Corporation's discount plan (called "Roadstar" and "Roadstar Gold") rewards safe drivers with reduced premiums based on the number of years the driver has been free of successful claims against him or her.

ICBC is governed by a board of directors appointed according to the provisions of the Insurance Corporation Act, ICBC's enabling statute. The board of directors, the CEO, and ICBC management govern ICBC in accordance with corporate governance best practices, and in accordance with the provisions of the enabling legislation, the Motor Vehicle Act, and other legislation applicable to ICBC. Proof of insurance is demonstrated, in part, by the application of a decal to the licence plate.

Rates applicable to ICBC's basic automobile insurance coverage are subject to the review of, and are set by, the British Columbia Utilities Commission. Revenue collected by the Corporation goes mostly into paying insurance benefits, while some is invested in fulfilling the Corporation's mandate to promote safe driving (the "RoadSense" campaign) and pursue other loss prevention strategies.

The Consumer Association of Canada, BC, has also released a report citing government involvement and poor management as two of the root causes behind ICBC providing poor service to British Columbian drivers. The report also states that when ICBC made the move from a not-for-profit organization to a for-profit revenue generator for the provincial government, British Columbian drivers were required to pay higher premiums for less coverage.[2]

In 2012, in a survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, ICBC was ranked the worst automobile insurer in Canada by their clients. [3]

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