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ICBC Releases Q2 Report and Forecasts a Year-End Loss

This paper raises some questions about ICBC's forecast operating loss based on the second quarter financial summary.

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Manitoba Public Insurer Loses Suit Questioning Regulator's Jurisdiction.

In a recent decision the Manitoba Court of Appeal declined to hear an appeal by the MPI public auto insurer concerning a decision by its refulator. Perhaps Manitoba will adopt the more directive approach used by the government in this province?

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ICBC Reports Major Profit Increases in Both Basic and Optional Programs.

This report has a closer look at ICBC's 2021/22 financial results at the program level compared to the results of the prior year.

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ICBC Records Historic Profit for Fiscal Year 2021/22

FY 2021/22 was historic for our public auto insurer, both for the shift to no-fault and the historic combined operating profit.

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Private Insurers Report Banner Profits for 2021

A new report shows that private Canadian Property and Casualty insurers make record profits in 2021. This paper has a closer look.

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Auto Insurance Again a Factor in the Ontario Election

The Ontario NDP has promised a major reduction in auto insurance as part of its election platform. This paper has a closer look.

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Globe and Mail Incorrectly Claims BC and Saskatchewan Drivers Subsidized by Taxpayers

A recent Globe and Mail editorial cantained factual errors about the recently announced insurance rebates in BC and Saskatchewan. Taxpayers are not subsidizing drivers in these provinces.

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Linking ICBC Rebate to Offset Fuel Prices Sends Wrong Message

The decision to proceed with a rebate signifies the adoption of more realistic capital reserve targets. Linking the rebate to offsetting high fuel costs has clouded a positive picture.

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How Much is Enough: ICBC Has Sufficient Capital to Provide Rebate to Policyholders

President Jimenez says rebuilding the capital reserve will take time, but the latest forecast suggests that ICBC has sufficient capital to provide a rebate now.

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ICBC Forecasts Record Profits: Strong Investment Returns Power Results.

ICBC has forecast a record profit of $1.9 billion for the current year. This Commentary reviews the forecast and the Q3 report.

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ICBC Policyholders Fund Enhanced Traffic Enforcement--Fine Revenue Goes to Municipalities

Each year Basic policyholders contribute close to $30 million to fund traffic enforcement through additional police resources and through intersection radar cameras. This paper has a closer look.

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Ontario Government Hints That Taxpayers May Subsidize Drivers.

The Ontario government may eliminate the $120 vehicle registration fee in the run-up to the June election resulting in a taxpayer subsidy to drivers. 

Update https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/ontario-legislators-return-for-pre-election-session-today 

https://globalnews.ca/news/8636625/ontario-licence-plate-sticker-renewal-cancelled-refunds/ 

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Alberta Adopts No-Fault for Vehicle Damage: Hybrid Tort Remains for Injury Claims.

Starting January 1, 2022, the basoc mandatory auto insurance for vehicle damage claims converted to a n-fault model. Injury claims remain in the hybrid tort model, where pain and suffering awards for minor claims are capped.

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ICBC's Half-Year Results for 2021/22.

ICBC's minimalist half-yer summary report shows improved financial health, but lack of service measue data make detailed analysis impossible.

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BC Utilities Commission Approves ICBC's Basic Program Rate Reduction

This commentary summarizes the key issues in the BC Utilities Commission's recent decision.

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Public Auto Insurers May Provide Additional Covid Rebates: Will ICBC Follow Suit?

The public auto insurers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba have reported claims costs tracking below the budget forecasts due to the continuing effects of the measures to supress the pandemic. This may result in more rebates to policyholders. 

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Do ICBC's Q1 Results Suggest Another Pandemic Rebate?

This paper provides a general review of ICBC's positive first quarter financial reults.

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Intact Financial Wants BC Government to Provide "Options" for Basic Insurance

Recently, the CEO of Intact Financial stated that the BC government should provide options respecting the purchase of Basic auto insurance. Intact abandoned the BC market at the end of 2020.

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Major Financial Turnaround at ICBC Includes Both Basic and Optional Programs

This paper continues the review begun on 29 July 2021 of ICBC's 2020/21 financial turnaround. This time the results at the program level are highlighted.

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ICBC Reports Massive Increase in Profits: Rebound in Investments and Drop in Claims Explain Improvement

ICBC's 2020/21 financial results show a marked improvement in profits and equity, with most of the improvement due to re-estimation of prior years claims costs and improved investment valuation.

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ICBC Forecasts Significant Profits and Growth in Basic Equity

In its recent three year plan, and its rate submission to the BC Utilities Commission, ICBC is forecasting significant financial improvement in the finances of the Basic program compared to 2019/20. Only by merging the two data sets can one discern the forecast for the Optional program.

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ICBC Plans Major Increase in Back Office Staffing

This paper looks at the major increase in ICBC's back office staffing planned for the next two years.

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Expanding ICBC's Role as the Government's Debt Collector

The government has introduced legislation to expand ICBC's refuse to issue program to encompass unpaid fines relating to the pandemic. The government should reimburse ICBC, otherwise policyholders will be providing another subsidy to taxpayers.

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Tracing ICBC's Missing $400 Million in Capital Build Funds

ICBC has applied to the BC Utilities Commission for a 11.5% Basic rates increase to begin to rebuild the capital reserve. Yet the detail of the forecast increase in the capital available by year-end 2022/23 is much less than what ICBC proposed in its initial application. Where is the missing equity?

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Improved Financial Markets and Lower Claims Costs Improve ICBC's Finances

ICBC's financial forecast for 2020/21 and the budget for 2021/22 show a marked improvement over the significant operationg losses recorded in recent years.

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Saskatchewan Announces Auto Insurance Rebate

The Saskatchewan government just announced a one-time premium rebate for Basic insurance policyholders. Saskatchewan's Basic insurance program has witnessed strong grown due to the pandemic related declines in claims costs and strong investment returns. This paper compares the rebates announced for this province and Manitoba and BC.

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ICBC Watchdog has Leash Shortened; Declines to Voluntarily Forego Holding Monopoly Insurer to Account

While the government has slackened its tight control of the BC Utilities Commission respecting BC Hydro, it shows no signs of a similar move with respect to ICBC's Basic insurance. This paper looks at recent developments.

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Was the Decision to Refund $600 Million to ICBC Policyholders Prudent or Reckless?

This paper takes a closer look at the limited information available to asses the desision to provide a COVID-19 rebate. 

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Quarantine Lifted on ICBC's Financial Report After Pandemic Rebate Announcement

After a two month delay, and the announcement of a COVID-19 rebate, ICBC finally posted its second quarter financial summary. It appears that the government delayed the release of a key accountability document in order to make a political announcement. See also Bob Mackin's comments of February 4, 2021; thebreaker.news/news/icbc-dumpster-spin/ 

 

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Government Continues to Promote ICBC's Enhanced Care Model But Continues to Withhold ICBC's Q2 Report

ICBC's half year financial report is long overdue. It appears that the government is withholding the Q2 actual financial results to avoid more questions about a COVID-19 rebate. Accountabiity takes a backseat to the political agenda. Rob Shaw, writing for the Orca, also commented on the missing report https://theorca.ca/resident-pod/rob-shaw-icbc-should-reveal-whats-under-the-hood/

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ICBC Files 15 Percent Reduction Request for Compulsory Basic Program

This Commentary reviews ICBC's Basic rate request filing for the 23-month period commencing 1 May 2021. Many questions remain.

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Manitoba Public Auto Insurer Increasing COVID-19 Rebate

The Manitoba public insurer is providing rebates related to lower costs resulting from the pandemic. ICBC, by contrast, has an unhealthy financial position and the government should resist the urge to follow suit.

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Alberta Adopts No-Fault Insurance for Vehicle Damage and Other Changes to Reduce Costs

Through legislation and regulatory changes Alberta is making a number of significant changes to the auto insurance system in that province. A major change is the adoption of a no-fault model for vehicle/property damage.

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ICBC's Massive Increase to the Reserve for Pending Injury Claims Key to Recent Losses

In the last two years ICBC has increased the reserve for prior years claims by an extraordinary $2.4 billion. This paper attempts to find the reason for this huge increase.

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Intact Financial Abandons the BC Auto Insurance Market

This commentary discusses the recent announcement by Intact Financial that it would stop selling Optional auto insurance in BC.

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Alberta Report Recommends Switch to No-Fault Auto Insurance

A committe appointed by the Alberta government has recommended that the government scrap the hybrid tort scheme and legislate a no-fault auto insurance plan as oon as possible. This paper has a closer look.

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Recently Released Claims Data Explains ICBC's Improved Finances

Using claims data obtained through the FOI process, this paper summarizes the recent decline in ICBC's Basic claims and claim costs. This data should be part of ICBC's regular reporting.

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Auto Insurance Affordability is an Issue in the Saskatchewan Election

Auto insurance affordability is an issue in the Saskatchewan election, where robust capital reserves have promted the opposition NDP to pledge rebates and a rate reduction. The main parties in BC have avoided the issue of ICBC's low capital reserves.

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Liberal Party's Populist Approach for Auto Insurance Severely Flawed

The Liberal party's populist promises to remake the auto insurance market have significant problems for ICBC and for policyholdrs in general. Affordability and expanded coverage can be be achieved theough adhering to the monopoly no-fault model.

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ICBC's Q1 Results: Rebound in Investments Helps Rebuild Some Equity

The first quarter results show a marked rebound in net income and the value of the financial investments compared to three months ago. This paper highlights three areas.

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Taxpayer Federation's Call for a COVID-19 Rebate Misplaced

With a slide into negative equity, ICBC does not have any capacity to provide policyholders with a COVID-19 driven rebate as advocated by the BC wing of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. To do so would expose taxpayers to a greater risk of subsidizing policyholders.

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ICBC's Premium Revenue Rebounds to More Normal Levels: Specific Operational Data Not Available

ICBC recently reported a significant increase in vehicle reinsurance reflecting a return to more normal vehicle use. Unfortunately its financial data for 2019/20 has not been released by the government, nor any service or performance data.

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Is Alberta About to Expand No-Fault Auto Insurance?

A pending report from a government appointed panel is expected to recommend an expansion of no-fault insurance in that province. The attached commentary has a closer look.

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Manitoba" Auto Insurer Plans a 10.5% Rate Reduction

The public auto insurer in Manitoba plans an overall 10.5% reduction in Basic rates for April 2021. Because the new no-fault model for ICBC is based on the Manitoba system a closer look is warranted.

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Low Interest Rates Bad News for ICBC's and BC Hydro's Balance Sheets

The prospect of continuing low interest rates will place further strain on the financial statements of ICBC and BC Hydro. The poor financial health could twart government attempts to lower insurace rates or provide cheaper electricity.

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ICBC Report Distorts the Financial Impact of COVID-19

A new ICBC report distorts the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its revenue and expenditures, presenting what is likely the worst case scenario. This further erodes the public's trust in our public auto insurer.

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Where Is ICBC's Report on a Possible Rebate?

A month ago Attorney General Eby said he had asked ICBC for a report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its finances. This commentary suggests what such a report might disclose.

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Will the BCUC be Permitted to Decide if ICBC's Windfall Savings are Rebated to Policyholders?

The government should take the opportunity presented by ICBC's windfall claims cost savings to de-politicize rate decisions. It should allow the BCUC to make the determination as to whether the savings should be rebated to policyholders.

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Will ICBC Reduce Premiums to Reflect Lower Risk and Fewer Claims?

This paper reviews the decision of Allstate Insurance to provide a premium rebate to return some of the windfall claims savings to its customers. The government has not stated if ICBC will also return some of the windfall savings to policyholders.

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Looming Insolvency: Covid-19 Threatens ICBC's Financial Health

The recent financial market melt-down has reduced ICBC investment assets. ICBC's lack of a capital reserve will likely mean that its liabilites will exceed its assets by year-end.

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Fact Check: ICBC Losses Have Not Displaced Spending on Other Programs

Finance Minister Carole James suggested that the losses at ICBC have displaced government spending on other programs. This is not correct.

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Move to No-Fault Insurance Achieves Government's Affordability Objective

The recent decision by the government to adopt a no-fault enhanced care model marks a fundamental change for auto insurance in B.C. This paper reviews some of the benefits.

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Unlike ICBC Other Public Auto Insurers Have Much Lower Rates and Healthy Finances

This paper suggests that the arguing that private insurers could provide lower rates compared to a public model misses the main reason for the lower rates enjoyed by drivers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The lower rates are the result of the no-fault liability model.

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Restoring Public Trust in ICBC Requires More Than the Tepid Moves Announced by Minister Eby

The changes announced by minister Eby do little to improve accountability at ICBC. This paper provides suggestions to improve ICBC's public reports.

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Recent Initiatives Respecting Auto Insurance in B.C.

This commentary reviews a number of developments respecting auto insurance in B.C. and Alberta that occurred during the last two weeks.

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ICBC's Second Quarter 2019/20 Financial Results

This commentary reviews ICBC's April to September 2019 financial report to determine if the forecasted $91 million year-end operating loss is reasonable. Unfortunately, ICBC continues to restrict the information available making a proper review impossible.

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ICBC's Losses Do Not Automatically Result in a Reduction in Government Services

Public sector accounting standards require that ICBC's operating losses be deducted from the government's total revenue, but this does not translate into a reduction in funding for government programs. The accounting standard adds to the confusion about the impact of ICBC's operations on the government's finances.

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Flurry of Media Reports on ICBC's Finances

A summary of media reports from October 24th to November 1st respecting ICBC's finances. Includes comments by Todd Stone and hints by David Eby about no-fault.

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Manitoba Government Charged with Interfering with Crown Insurer

This paper reviews recent initiatives by the Manitoba government to provide direction to the Crown insurer and the provincial regulator. A comparison is made to British Columbia, where provincial governments have a been interfering with ICBC and the B.C. Utilities Commission for years. 

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Was Limiting Expert Reports Good Public Policy or a Gambit to Avoid Insolvency at ICBC?

It now appears that the cabinet-ordered limit on expert reports was rushed to avoid insolvency at ICBC as of 31 March 2019.

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ICBC Provides Details on the Expert Report Savings

On October 18, 2019, Lindsay Matthews provided a response to my questions about the estimated savings resulting from the government's limitation on the number of expert reports.

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Minister Responsible for ICBC Says Those Facing Large Premium Increases Should Buy Less Insurance

Yesterday on CFAX radio, Attorney General David Eby suggested that young and inexperienced policyholders facing massive price increases should purchase less insurance. My comments are attached.

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Higher Risk Alberta Drivers Denied Optional Coverage

In the evolving "crisis" in the Alberta auto insurance market it now appears that drivers with moving violation convictions are being denied Optional coverage.

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ICBC's First Quarter Report: Too Soon to Draw Conclusions

This Commentary discusses key aspects of the Q1 financial report. ICBC needs to include service measures with the financial data.

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Alberta Government Removes Cap on Auto Insurance Rate Increases.

The new Albetra government has eliminated the 5% limit on auto insurance rate increases imposed by the NDP government in December 2017. The limit, combined with large increases in claims costs, was causing distortions in the market, and large rate increases. The government has yet to address the coverage issues. The B.C. government continues to limit increases in ICBC's Basic insurance.

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Insurance Brokers Association Exectutive Director Supports Public Auto Insurance Model

In the August edition of The Broker magazine Chuck Byrne, the exectutive director of the Insurance Brokers Association, wrote an editorial in support of the public model for the provision of compulsory insurance. Exerpts of this editorial are attached.

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New Report Shows Auto Insurance Rates Escalating in Alberta and Ontario: Is More Competition Really the Key to Lower Rates?

A new report shows significant increases in the cost of auto insurance in Alberta and Ontario. This seems to contridict the claims that competition results in lower prices.

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Manitoba Insurer Plans Minor Rate Increase for 2020: Strengthened Capital Reserve.

The MPI is on solid financial footing and seeks to stregthen the Basic capital reserve. It is seeking a minimal Basic rte increase for 2020. The no-faulth auto insurance model in Manitoba is compared to the scheme in BC.

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Are B.C. Drivers Adequately Insured?

This Commentary attempts to answer the question as to what percentage of BC drivers carry additional third-party liability insurance greater than the $200,000 limit in the compulsory Basic program. ICBC does not make public its Optional sales.

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The Cost to ICBC of Aging Drivers.

The government is lowering the seniors' discount from 25% to 15%, but still requiring other policyholders to pay more to make-up for the lost revenue. What dos this subsidy cost?

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Retreat from Transparency: ICBC Deems Average Claims Data Confidential.

At a time when the concept of a public monopoly providing auto insurance is being questioned, one would expect ICBC to retain the public's support by being transparent and accountable. Unfortunately, the opposite appears to be the philosophy adopted by the management at ICBC as evidenced by witholding the forecast injury severities from public view.

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Is the Attorney General Getting Poor Advice from ICBC?

This commentary explores three areas where ICBC appears to be providing poor advice, focusing in particular on financial forecasting and an apparent move to reduce transparancey and accountability.

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Request that the BCUC Overrule ICBC on Filing Injury Claim Severities.

ICBC has refused to publically file certain historic injury claim severities for settled claims. This request seeks an order from the B.C. Utilities Commission to require ICBC to publicly file the information.

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Government Extracts $70 Million from Hard-Pressed ICBC Policyholders.

This commentary explores how the government receives $70 million annually in driver license fees while ICBC's Basic policyholders must pay the cost as part of their annual insurance. The provincial fee scheme appears contrary to a 1998 Supreme Court of Canada decision respecting fees versus taxes. The government should correct this double payment.

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Will ICBC Avoid Insolvency by Year-End 2018/19?

This commentary discusses two recent changes to how ICBC pays for injury claims, and whether these changes will support a lower deficit forecast for fisal year-end. Whether this will be enough to avoid insolvency by 31 March 2019 is the open question. Also included is Ian Mulgrew's report of 18 February 2019; https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/ian-mulgrew-icbc-trial-strategy-slammed 

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ICBC Now Insolvent: Is a Taxpayer Bail-out Imminent?

ICBC's third-quarter report showed an operating loss of $890 million and liabilities exceeding assests by $119 million. ICBC is now insolvent. The question is whether the coverage changes will produce sufficient savings to stablize ICBC's finances?

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ICBC Seeks to Reduce Already Minimal Optional Information.

This paper examines ICBC's request to eliminate information on its Optional program's market share in the context of the lack of information on this aspect of its operation.

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Saskatchewan Auto Fund Reports Healthy Second Quarter

The paper reviews the SAF Q2 results with the forecasted position of the ICBC Basic program for 2018/19.

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Financial Meltdown at ICBC May Force Government Bailout.

The recent 6.3% rate increase filing suggests that the government may be forced to bailout ICBC as the capital reserve is eliminated.

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Manitoba Basic Rates to Rise 1.8 Per Cent--ICBC's Increase Likely Much Higher.

The Manitoba regulator just approved a 1.8% rate increase for complusory auto insurance. Why are the Basic rate increases in Saskatchewan and Manitoba much less than for ICBC? 

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Government Requires Money-Losing ICBC to Fund More Traffic Enforcement

The government has directed ICBC to fund more traffic enforcement, but its more of a restoration. And why is the government not funding more police traffic enforcement instead of asking over-burdened policyholders to do it?

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Ride-Share Auto Insurance Options

This paper outlines the insurance plans in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and the blanket insurance option required by Uber and Lyft.

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Ontario Review Promises Greater Transparency and Accountability.

Commentary on certain aspects of the Ontario government's plans regarding electricity pricing and auto insurance regulation.

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New Fraser Institute Paper on ICBC.

A commentary on a paper released by the Fraser Institute on certain aspects of the finances of ICBC.

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Terminology and Perceptions of ICBC.

Driver-based penalties are increasing by 20% today, with another 20% increase planned for 2019. ICBC calls the penalty a premium, which confuses this penalty with the vehicle premium. Confusion is part of the reason for the low public perception of our auto insurer.

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Unknown Driver Fee a Symptom of Larger Problem.

Is the new penalty and protection fee an abuse of monopoly power and an attempt to achieve risk pricing perfection?

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NDP Perpetuates Liberal Practices Regarding ICBC: Keeps Watchdog Confined. September 4, 2018.

This paper discusses the fact that the NDP government is using cabinet orders to control ICBC's finances and keep the B.C. Utilities Commission confined. These were the tactics used by the previous government to avoid public oversight.

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Delayed Rate Increase to Cost ICBC up to $150 million. August 12, 2018.

The government's decision to postpone a general rate increase until April 2019 will reduce ICBC's already low capital reserve by perhaps $150 million in 2018/19.

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Commentary on Results of Opinion Survey on ICBC Rates. May 21, 2018.

This paper reviews the key results of the government's public opinion survey on potential changes to ICBC's driver penalties and the design of Basic rates.

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Fraser Institute Report on ICBC's Finances: Late and Confusing. April 11, 2018.

My comments on the Fraser Institute's report "The Decline and Fall of ICBC."

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Commentary on ICBC Rate Design Proposals. March 8, 2018.

My comments on certain aspects for the latest proposals to make Basic insurance rates "fairer." It seems that most of the proposals will result in less generous discounts and greter revenue for ICBC.

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Accounting Treatment of ICBC's Net Loss Complicates Provincial Budget. February 17, 2018.

The national public sector accounting rules require that ICBC's net income or loss be counted in the government's revenue. The increase in the net loss reduces revenue, but there is no change in the actual cash being transferred (which is nil). This accounting anomoly requires further review.

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Comment: Changes Coming to ICBC's Injury Model. February 8, 2018.

On 6 February 2018, minister responsible David Eby announced major changes to injury claims process and coverage, with expanded no-fault accident benefits and monetary limits, and a $5,500 cap on pain and suffering claims for "minor" injuries. The government expects that these changes will reduce annual claims costs by approximately $1.0 billion.

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Alberta Caps Auto Insurance Increase at 5 Percent. December 19, 2017.

The Alberta government has limited the 2017/18 increase in the private vehicle insurance rates to 5%. It stated that the previously allowed 10% maximum increase was not inline with its affordability priority. Background and implications are provided. 

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Rate Increases for Basic Auto Insurance in BC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. December 8, 2017.

The Manitoba regulator recently approved a 2.6% increase in Basic vehicle rates for the coming year. This paper looks at how BC rate increases compare to the publicly-owned no-fault systems in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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New ICBC Forecast Confirms Financial Crisis is Worsening. November 29, 2017.

A new ICBC forecast of the Basic program shows major rate hikes are required to keep the capital reserve from being fully depleted within four years.

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