From tomatoes to iPods, truckers warn ICBC rate hike will cost consumers

B.C.’s trucking industry is warning that any spike in ICBC insurance rates could be felt by consumers at the cash register.

It comes in the wake of an Ernst & Young report commissioned for the B.C. government that found the Crown corporation may have to hike rates by as much as 30 per cent in the next two years.

ICBC considering raising car insurance premiums by 30 per cent

All commercial vehicles in B.C. must purchase basic insurance through ICBC, and on average they’re paying more, said Louise Yako, president of the BC Trucking Association.

“The rates for commercial vehicles are higher than for private passenger car vehicles,” she said.

LISTEN: Minister responsible for ICBC David Eby discusses the possibility of rate hikes

If those rates go up any higher, it won’t be truckers who end up footing the bill, Yako said.

Instead, it will mean the tomatoes, iPods and other goods they’re shipping will be more expensive.

“Every time there is an increase in costs, trucking companies have to pass at least a portion, if not all, of those increases on to their customers. This is a very low margin industry, and so there’s really no fat,” Yako said.

Yako added her organization is still studying the report to understand its full impact on drivers.

LISTEN: BC Liberal MLA Andrew Wilkinson says NDP needs to explain its plans for ICBC

The potential rate hikes are the result of what Ernst & Young described as an “unsustainable” financial situation within the Crown corporation.

The report found that both the number and size of claims within the insurance corporation are rising, along with the size of cash settlements and legal costs.

It recommended a suite of new measures to shore up ICBC’s financial footing, including reintroducing photo radar, implementing no-fault insurance and capping payments for pain and suffering for minor injuries.

David Eby, the NDP minister responsible for ICBC, ruled out photo radar and no-fault insurance on Monday.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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