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British Columbia

Average Car Insurance In British Columbia

british columbia

An unfortunate fact about British Columbia is that they have high auto insurance rates. The province ranks second in the country for having the highest average auto insurance rates. The average car insurance rate in British Columbia is $1237 annually. Compared to the cheapest province in the country, Québec, which has an auto insurance average of $712, you will be paying over $500 more annually getting insurance in British Columbia.

List of Top Auto Insurance Companies in British Columbia

RankingTop Auto Insurance Companies in British Columbia2015 DIRECT WRITTEN AUTO
1Economical Insurance103,484,000
2Intact Financial Corporation47,336,000
3RSA Canada Group40,441,000
4Lloyd's Underwriters6,958,000
5Northbridge Financial Corporation4,827,000
6Aviva Canada Inc4,305,000
7Echelon Insurance2,756,000
8AIG Insurance Co Of Canada2,399,000
9RBC General Insurance2,319,000
10Travelers Canada976,000
11Co-Operators General Insurance Co549,000
12Chubb Insurance Co of Canada318,000
13Old Republic Insurance Company101,000
14Zurich Insurance Company Ltd36,669
15Guarantee Company Of North America8,000

How Does the ICBC Affect Insurance Rates in British Columbia?

The International Corporation of British Columbia is a provincial corporation that provides universal auto insurance to BC drivers. If you live in BC, you are forced to get basic auto insurance coverage through the ICBC. The ICBC has five different mandatory coverages that every driver has to purchase. Here is a list of the five different mandatory coverages:

  • Third-party liability insurance for $200,000
  • $150,000 in medical insurance coverage
  • Uninsured automobile protection coverage for $1 million
  • $200,000 in a hit and run coverage
  • Inverse liability covers you when local laws don’t allow you to make a claim against the party at fault

What Do Private Insurance Providers in British Columbia Sell Insurance for?

In British Columbia, you are forced to get insurance through the ICBC. However, there are plenty of insurance companies out there looking to sell you insurance. These companies are not allowed to sell you the basic coverage that the ICBC sells. However, these private insurance companies are allowed to sell you aftermarket insurance. Getting private insurance through someone other than the ICBC will allow you to be able to get more specific coverage options for your vehicle.

What do private insurance providers in British Columbia provide that the ICBC does not?

Private insurers allow you to be able to pick up additional auto insurance coverage like collision and comprehensive coverage. If you choose to get more insurance coverage through a private insurer, you can also pay lower premiums and reduce or raise your deductible according to your needs. These insurance providers can also send you to their repair facilities in the event that an accident occurs so that you don’t have to shop around. Expect to find coverage options for things like glass, service packages, roadside assistance packages, and aftermarket vehicle parts. The ICBC will not be able to cover you for these types of things.

Is it Worth it to Get Insurance From a Private Insurance Provider in British Columbia?

Private insurance providers are not a necessary part of getting auto insurance in British Columbia. However, in some cases, it can definitely be worth getting private insurance. If you get insurance through the ICBC, you can be covered liability-wise. What you aren’t covered for though, is for things like damage to your vehicle and personal possessions. If you have a more expensive car and want to make sure that you have proper coverage for it, you should probably speak to a private insurer.

What does the ICBC Base Your Insurance Rates on in British Columbia?

The ICBC bases your insurance rates on your personal data. The higher they deem you to be at risk of getting into an accident, the more you will have to pay for insurance. There are a number of important factors that have a large influence on your premium. The amount of experience you have as well as where you operate your vehicle is extremely important. It is also important for them to know what you are using the vehicle for. If you are using it as a pleasure vehicle, you are definitely going to pay less than if you use it for something like business or transportation. The ICBC even bases some of your insurance rate on where you park your vehicle when you aren’t using it. The higher the risk of an area, the higher your rate will be.

How is Automobile Crime in British Columbia?

automobile crime

When you buy a car, you likely are not thinking about the risk of your car being stolen. The fact is, your car could definitely be stolen and it can happen at any time. Car theft, break-ins, and car vandalism are happening all across the country each and every day. In the period between 2011 and 2015, British Columbia has had an increase in the total amount of stolen vehicles. In 2011, the total amount of stolen vehicles was 7300. More recently, in 2015, the total amount of stolen vehicles was 9500. Although between these dates there was a down period between 2011 and 2013. Overall, though, the number of vehicles that have been stolen has risen substantially. This is definitely something that you are going to want to keep in the back of your mind when purchasing a vehicle in British Columbia.

Are There Many Lethal Crashes in British Columbia and What are They Caused By?

There are some lethal crashes in British Columbia. However, there are fatal crashes all over the world each and every day. What really makes a difference is how the fatal collisions occur. To show you how they occur, we decided to create a table covering the fatal collisions in the province, below:

British Columbia total fatal crashes264251245256275
Percent of collisions caused by speed31%32%27%27%31%
Percent of collisions caused by impaired driving27%22%24%21%23%
Percent of collisions caused by distraction27%29%29%23%30%

Since British Columbia Insurance Rates Are so Expensive, How Do I Save Money?

save money

There aren’t a whole lot of ways to save money getting insurance through the ICBC. One of the best ways to get a cheaper rate is to maintain a good, clean driving record. The longer your record is clean, the better. Another thing that you can attempt to do is to buy a vehicle with a good safety rating. If people are unlikely to be injured in an accident by driving in a particular vehicle, this means a cheaper insurance rate for you.

To Conclude

In British Columbia, it is very easy to make sure that you have appropriate auto insurance coverage. If you simply get insurance through the ICBC and register your vehicle, you are allowed to drive with a proper license. Although in British Columbia, you might pay a lot for auto insurance, you can still pick up aftermarket insurance from private insurance companies if you want to. It might not be ideal to pay the 2nd highest average auto premium in the country, but at least in BC, you still all get to pay less than Ontario.

About the Author: Ashley Miller

Ashley is an insurance content professional and very knowledgeable on all related subjects. Ashley has over 12 years of insurance content writing experience working with various insurance companies throughout her career.