Big insurance-price jumps for out-of-province drivers

The excerpredted article was written by Andrew Duffy | Times Colonist

Some part-time B.C. residents are in for sticker shock when they go to renew their vehicle insurance, thanks to new regulations brought into force in September.

Under the new rules, aimed at helping Insurance Corp. of B.C. to improve its finances, part-time B.C. residents who hold a driver’s licence from another jurisdiction will no longer qualify for driver-experience discounts.

Some part-time B.C. residents are in for sticker shock when they go to renew their vehicle insurance, thanks to new regulations brought into force in September.

Under the new rules, aimed at helping Insurance Corp. of B.C. to improve its finances, part-time B.C. residents who hold a driver’s licence from another jurisdiction will no longer qualify for driver-experience discounts.

MacLeod, who splits his time between his home in Hamilton, Ont., and the Salt Spring home he bought in 2007, said the provincial government is taking a run at those not considered B.C. residents.

“This is simply another whack at the people who did not take the hint with the speculation tax that the Horgan government does not want anyone in B.C. who is not a full-time resident,” he said. “I was absolutely horrified by this [increase], and even the $1,008 I paid last year was an increase of about 20 per cent.”

MacLeod dodged the speculation tax when, after criticism that the tax unfairly hit B.C. residents, Finance Minister Carole James announced it would be changed to exclude areas such as the Gulf Islands and Parksville-Qualicum.

But he couldn’t dodge the insurance changes. At 72, MacLeod, who has been driving since 1963, was told he would no longer be eligible to claim an experienced driver discount and would face a hike.

He paid his insurance bill, but increased his deductible to $2,500, from $500, which dropped his bill to $2,312.

“But now I am assuming $2,000 in liability I didn’t have last year,” he said, adding he is now paying more for insurance for a used Subaru than he does for his Corvette convertible back in Ontario, despite a clean driving record and no tickets.

Despite repeated requests, no one from ICBC or the Attorney General’s Ministry was made available to comment.

The changes stem from ICBC’s switch from a vehicle-based insurance model to a driver-based one. Without holding a B.C. driver’s licence, non-residents used to be able to benefit from discounts based on how long they had insured their vehicles in B.C., but ICBC is now using a driver-based model that relies on driving experience in B.C.

In hopes of having ICBC review the situation, MacLeod signed a disclosure agreement waiving his privacy rights, which allowed ICBC to comment on his policy rate.

But it’s unclear why an experienced driver from another jurisdiction in Canada wouldn’t be able to provide a provincial record or abstract to be able to claim an experience discount, or how many drivers could be affected by the change.

Drivers such as MacLeod have been advised, instead, to purchase a storage policy for when the vehicle isn’t in use and purchase short-term policies for when it is.

MacLeod said he and his wife spend about three months a year in B.C., and intend to continue to do so. “The smart thing is to sell the place and go and buy a place in Muskoka I guess, but I don’t want to do that.

“We like it here. We have friends here and are part of a community.”

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Have you herd? The goat is baaaack!

Goats have many fine qualities. They’re cute and they can climb things. But they are lousy drivers. Especially SGI’s goat – our virtual mascot who exemplifies exactly what NOT to do behind the wheel.

As a driver, this goat is everything you don’t want to be. He’s the one who goes flying past you on the road, or leaves you waiting at a green light while he finishes a text. He swerves between lanes after drinking all day. And his hygiene is awful.

Don’t be like the goat. He’s got baaaad habits, he makes baaaad decisions…. he’s just a baaaad driver. 

October 20-26 is National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), an initiative of Parachute Canada. Leading up to the week, SGI is hopping on board to encourage teens to drive safe with our “Stop The Goat” social media contest. 

Teens make up just seven per cent of Saskatchewan drivers, but were involved in ­­16 per cent of major injury collisions and nine per cent of fatal collisions last year. 

“National Teen Driver Safety Week highlights the importance of developing safe driving habits that last a lifetime,” said Penny McCune, Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund. “Habits like driving sober, staying focused on the road, and obeying posted speed limits.”

SGI’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing Programwhich is designed to improve road safety by exposing new drivers to incremental levels of risk as they gain more driving experience, also supports these responsible behaviours.

Did you say contest?

Yup. And by trying to stop the goat, you can win!

 Over the next few weeks, you’ll be seeing the goat pop up on SGI’s Facebook and Instagram pages. We want to stop his influence – and teens in Saskatchewan will have a chance to win one of 10 $250 VISA gift cards if they help out.

 Saskatchewan teens (age 15-19) are invited to enter the contest between now and October 20 by:

  • liking posts featuring the goat on Facebook and Instagram, and 
  • tagging two friends.

Teens who like and share on both Facebook and Instagram get two entries. If they follow us on Facebook or Instagram, they get an additional entry for each platform. (That’s up to four entries per person!) Then, during National Teen Driver Safety Week, two winners will be selected each day.

 In addition, law enforcement in Saskatchewan will be handing out “positive tickets” in the lead up to and during National Teen Driver Safety Week to reward teens for safe driving behaviours – if they’re buckled in, they’re driving the posted limit, and they’re driving undistracted. Positive tickets also come with some “Stop the Goat” swag for teens driving safely. 

 

For more information about National Teen Driver Safety Week, and to see SGI’s full social media contest rules, visit https://www.sgi.sk.ca/news?title=stop-the-goat .

Driving With Vision Obstructed

Frosty Car WindshieldI carry a handicap parking permit. When I was first issued this permit an outline of my responsibilities said that I was to remove it from the rear view mirror while driving “…as it is against the law to drive with the Permit hanging (obstructed vision).” I see often see permit holders driving with their permits hanging from the rear view mirror, so this rule is obviously not being enforced. A mention in your column may help remind drivers of their legal responsibility in this regard.

Thanks for yet another great topic suggestion, and one that is timely for another reason entirely.

Fully 80 percent of the information that we need to drive safely comes through our eyes. Anything that keeps that information from reaching us is a concern.

The law says that you must not move your vehicle on a highway when the driver’s view to the front or to the sides is obstructed. Obstructions may range from the parking permit or other object dangling from the rearview mirror that this reader mentions.

Driving with only a small spot of frost scraped away or removed by the defrosters is what came to my mind as I always found drivers peeking through the small half circle of glass cleared by the defrosters during the first few frosts of the year. Receiving a ticket and then having to scrape or wait before continuing is not a good way to start the day.

A traffic ticket for a violation of section 195(1)(b) MVA costs $109 and 3 penalty points.

I have the luxury of parking my vehicle in my garage so I don’t have to scrape my windows at the beginning of my trip, but I may have to park outside at my destination. Most of the time I just use my snow brush and ice scraper to clean ALL the windows before I drive away, but with a little preparation that task can be made quicker and easier.

Covering the windshield with anything that keeps moisture away from it will prevent frost from forming on the outside. A tarp, blanket, towel or even cardboard will help reduce the work.

There are commercial de-icing sprays, but you can save a significant amount of money by making your own. Find a suitable spray bottle and fill it with a mixture of 2/3 70% isopropyl alcohol and 1/3 water. Spray it on, wait a few moments and all that scraping is no longer necessary.

Your spray can be stored in the vehicle as it will not freeze in most areas of our province.

Hydrophobic glass treatments may help by making it harder for the ice to stick in the first place.

While we are on the topic of vision and changes in the weather, this would be a great time to check some other vehicle components as well. Is your windshield washer topped up with the correct cleaner, are your wiper blades supple and undamaged and is your scraper at hand?

One final mention is something that I learned while researching this topic. Leaving your windshield wipers pulled back from the windshield at the end of each trip will prevent damage to the wiping edge. Your wipers will last longer and clean your windshield without streaks.

Better to be ready to cope than it is to take chances with your safety and the safety of those who have to share the road with you.

B.C. teen forced to pay annual ICBC bill worth three times the cost of her car

BY AND

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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