I get riled up over certain types of injustices. And I recognize while writing this, that the “injustices” in my world that I get riled up over are minor and not worth considering when compared to the injustices suffered by much of the world. I do get that, but when something is in my face, impacting my family, friends or team members, I get nuts about it. And if it affects my husband – watch out! I become absolutely insane.
When I returned to BC – after being born and raised here – I had to get car insurance. Unlike other provinces, car insurance is only offered by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Privatization versus government agency? I don’t know which is better really – but the drawback to ICBC is that you cannot “take your business elsewhere” if you don’t like the costs, options or service.
In purchasing my car insurance here, I was able to provide 7 years and 8 months of claims free history from my insurance companies in Ontario. As well, I had 7 years of claims free history prior to my move. This claim free history – which I have EARNED – resulted in getting the maximum discount of 43% (and 53% of the “optional portions” like comprehensive, etc). That is good, because I live downtown Vancouver – the highest insurance zone in the province.
My car was broken into at the end of December:
This cost me = $300 (window deductible for ICBC) + $500 (tenant insurance deductible) + ~$150 (increase in tenant insurance due to losing my 10 year claim free status) = $950
This cost the insurance companies: $170 (balance of window deductible for ICBC, much of which is HST that is going to the government anyways) + $500? (because Intact insurance STILL has not settled my claim) – ~$150 (that Intact is going to be getting from me through higher premiums) = $520
To recap: Criminal Activity that WAS NOT MY FAULT resulted in me “sharing” the cost with the insurance company 67%/33% – that doesn’t even factor in the premium I paid in the first place. And 1 month later, the Intact Insurance still can seem to figure out how much an LG Optimus cell phone is worth. (um, google it, people, they have the internet on computers nowadays).
During this whole thing, ICBC sent me a letter saying that my premium was miscalculated and I now owe them $370 more dollars because I am a “new resident”. No, I was born and raised here, but happened to live in Ontario for 10 years. But no, now my insurance discount can only be 40% both mandatory and optional regardless of my risk as a driver.
Turns out that ICBC says if you leave for more than 8 years, your BC heritage is erased.
Does that make me upset? No, it makes me CRAZY!
I called them. I escalated my complaint. I told them that I was being geographically discriminated against! I am a Canadian citizen that has lived in Canada my whole life! Apparently “in a couple of days” they will send me the link to send a letter to the “Fairness Commissioner”. That was 2 weeks ago. Thanks so much, ICBC.
And what can I do about it? Nothing – because it is fiscally irresponsible to not have insurance and there is only one company for car insurance. It just takes one distracted moment to severely injure someone and one random event to lose my entire home. So, I will fight this “I’m not a returning resident” classification with ICBC, but continue to pay premiums.
Insurance companies are in it to make profit. And it is in their best interest to delay claims, build loopholes, and increase premiums. It doesn’t matter if it is private personal firm in Ontario, a governmental agency, WSIB, WorkSafe BC, pet insurance, health insurance (when was the lat time that your glasses only cost $200?) etc – if you are paying a premium, there is some sort of loophole to maximize the premium.
January 29th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: I’m fighting this – I am not paying ICBC extra. They don’t get to make arbitrary rules not based on actuarial data.
See G.? – I didn’t write about it.