SOURCE: Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

January 29, 2018 13:34 ET

Concerned British Columbians Calling for Independent Auditor General Review of Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) Finances

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - January 29, 2018) - Today, as concerned citizens, and on behalf of our more than 1,400 members, the Trial Lawyers of British Columbia (TLABC) is calling on the Government of British Columbia (B.C.) to immediately demand an independent review of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia's (ICBC) finances by B.C.'s Office of the Auditor General.

"Yesterday - Sunday, January 28, 2018 - ICBC announced that it now estimates that it will lose $1.3 billion by the end of the current fiscal year. This is an enormous increase from the estimates ICBC was forecasting earlier in the year. Such huge discrepancies in the estimates coming out of ICBC on a month-to-month basis demonstrate that something is fundamentally wrong with the crown corporation. Either the estimates are being re-formulated in a deliberate attempt to mislead, or ICBC is unacceptably incompetent. For years, ICBC hasn't had the trust of British Columbians, and now this same crown corporation is asking government to make serious public policy decisions on the shifting sands of its own inconsistent estimates. Enough is enough." - Sonny Parhar, TLABC President

TLABC's own independent review suggests that by using realistic actuarial analysis and facts based on what has actually occurred at ICBC, financial stability at ICBC can be restored relatively quickly without stripping the rights of British Columbians through "minor" injury caps. "Minor" injury is an insurance term, not a medical one. Caps make good drivers pay for bad drivers and victims pay for bad ICBC management. Injury caps mean that when a person is hurt by the carelessness of another driver, ICBC will decide if that person's injuries are "minor" and worth practically nothing. TLABC has provided 10 clear solutions to government to help reform our system without having to resort to artificial injury caps.

B.C.'s new government is in a difficult position but it must ensure accurate information is provided to the public. The only credible way to get at the facts is to call on B.C.'s Auditor General to conduct a detailed and independent audit of ICBC's finances. It is the only prudent action to take -- and it should be taken before any policy changes are made. Policy changes such as capping compensation of what ICBC calls "minor injuries" -- which could be life-changing for accident victims -- is simply irresponsible without a full and complete audit.

"No wonder ICBC is pointing fingers everywhere it can -- quite simply, it has mismanaged its own activities for so long, and it no longer sees any way out except to introduce caps on what it calls 'minor injuries' and to dramatically increase insurance rates. In an already unaffordable province, this is not the right path for government to take. ICBC wants the new government to trust it. On behalf of all British Columbians, we say 'no.' There should be a proper, independent audit of ICBC. British Columbians deserve more than a Sunday morning media release from ICBC that says, 'Trust us.'" - Sonny Parhar, TLABC President

About Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia (TLABC) is a non-profit society with a membership of over 1,400 legal professionals. We represent individuals rather than corporations or governments and are united with the goals of protecting rights, ensuring access to the courts, preserving the jury system and maintaining the highest of standards in legal education.

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