Although the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is the sole provider of auto insurance for all drivers in British Columbia, auto insurance premiums are calculated in roughly the same way as in any other province, with some differences.
As in other provinces with public car insurance systems, b.c. drivers are not classified according to their age and gender. In contrast, auto insurance companies can base their rates on this criteria in Ontario and Alberta.
And there’s another crucial difference: In British Columbia, every insurance policy starts with a base premium. base premium for basic insurance is $1,063 (as of April 2019). the premium increases or decreases according to the following categories:
- vehicle information
- driver information
- discount information
Let’s go into detail about each category.
These are the kind of questions you can expect to be asked when shopping for an autoplan insurance policy. it’s helpful to have the answers handy beforehand for the best experience.
- Vehicle Type: Insurance companies can predict how much it would cost to repair or replace your car based on the year, make, and model of the vehicle. Insurance companies also keep track of the models that thieves hit most often.
- Whether the vehicle is leased or purchased: Insurance companies want to know if your car is leased because some leases may stipulate that you need to purchase additional coverage.
- Where the car is parked overnight: Ideally, your car is parked overnight in a private garage. if the car is parked on the street or in an open driveway, it is at increased risk of environmental damage and/or theft.
- The primary use for this vehicle: if you use your car to get to work, you will pay higher insurance costs than someone who only drives the car occasionally.
- the number of miles traveled to work or school in one direction (each day) : The number of miles you drive each day will affect your auto insurance premium.
Next, you will be asked a few questions about yourself and your driving record.
- where you live: the icbc divides the province into territories, as congestion varies by location. urban drivers generally pay more for auto insurance than rural drivers.
- the age the driver was first licensed: the longer you have been a driver, the lower your car insurance costs will be. be.
- if you ever canceled your insurance: a continuous history of having insurance will help you get a lower rate.
- yes have had claims or accidents in the last 10 years: any of these will increase your auto insurance premiums.
- who else drives your car: as of 2019, BC drivers must indicate if others will be using the car.
- if you have had any traffic convictions: parking tickets do not count. we’re talking drunk driving charges, speeding tickets, stunt driving, distracted driving, and more.
icbc offers various discounts on auto insurance. Your auto plan insurance broker should work with you to help you determine which ones you qualify for. here are the discounts offered by the icbc b.c. drivers:
- low mileage discount: drivers who travel less than 5,000 km per year can get a 10% discount. this option is only available to drivers of private passenger vehicles (motorcycles are excluded). Only annual policies are eligible for the discount (no short-term policies).
- Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) Discount: Some cars come equipped with an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system. braking that is activated automatically when the car detects that the vehicle is about to collide with another object. aeb has been shown to prevent accidents. cars with aeb are eligible for a 10% discount from icbc.
- savings for experienced drivers: icbc offers discounts for drivers with at least 40 years of driving experience.
- anti-theft device discount: cars with passive electronic immobilizers (devices that disable your car’s engine when the ignition is turned off and won’t start until it recognizes a special key) can help further lowers your car insurance premiums. other anti-theft devices may qualify you for a $100 deductible rebate.
- disability discount: drivers who qualify for the disabled fuel tax rebate program also may qualify for a 25% discount on autoplan’s basic policy. the discount still applies even if the disabled person cannot drive the insured car.