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A 19-year-old Cranbrook resident is the latest to speak out about skyrocketing ICBC rates for young drivers.

Jade Sharp says she needs her car for college and work, but she fears she can’t afford it anymore. Insurance on her car has skyrocketed, with the monthly bill up almost 40 percent.

“I used to pay $180 and now it’s $250,” Sharp said. “It’s completely outrageous.”

When calculated annually, Sharp’s bill comes to roughly $3,000 — three times what she paid for her used car.

The teen says she’s been driving for almost four years and is accident-free. But under ICBC’s new rate structure, that record no longer counts towards an experience discount.

Sharp’s mother Amanda Riddell is calling ICBC’s revamped model “selfish.”

Sharp is the latest B.C. teen to come forward saying they’re being unfairly punished by ICBC for their relative lack of experience.

BC Liberal critic for ICBC Jas Johal has criticized the province for the rate changes, and said this latest case represents a larger problem.

“They’re starting out their lives, they’re going to school, part-time jobs, and now in this case they get hit with a $3,000 insurance bill for a car that’s worth $1,000?” he said. “This is ridiculous.”

ICBC is continuing to defend its rates, noting younger drivers are three-and-a-half times more likely to cause a crash.

Spokesperson Joanna Linsangan says there are ways for those young drivers to save money, particularly if their vehicles are of lower value.

“For some people who do have low value vehicles, one thing that many do consider is dropping collision coverage,” Linsangan said.

ICBC’s president and the province have said they are continuing to work towards making auto insurance less expensive for everyone, including younger drivers.

Sharp says she’ll keep struggling to pay her new monthly rate, but she’s not sure how much longer she can keep it up.

“Just because there’s a few young drivers or older drivers who aren’t the greatest at driving, or being safe at driving, it doesn’t mean I deserve to be punished for that,” Sharp said.

Source: Global News

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