BC’s auto insurance rates are now among the cheapest in the country: report

bring cash. It’s a common aphorism of British Columbia and how expensive Canada’s westernmost province is compared to life on the prairie.

While that adage certainly applies to gas and housing, a new 42-page report says BC actually has one of the best rates in the country when it comes to car insurance.

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On Thursday, ICBC released the results of the Ernst and Young report that compared rates in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

The report included price comparisons in different cities, as well as age-based drivers, their vehicles, average daily commute and annual kilometers driven.

The first example listed was an 18-year-old male student with a Level 2 student license and a 2012 Honda Civic LX.

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Four prices for the teenager’s insurance rates were listed in BC:

  • Abbotsford ($2,994)
  • Nanaimo ($2,067)
  • Prince George ($2,139)
  • Vancouver’s West End ($3,044)
  • West Kelowna ($2,311)

Prices in BC were significantly cheaper than those listed in Alberta, but still not as cheap as Saskatchewan:

  • Calgary ($6,140)
  • Edmonton ($6,471)
  • Grand Prairie ($5,576)
  • Red Deer ($5,557)
  • Esterhazy ($1,130)
  • Saskatoon ($1,128)

The same price differentials were generally reflected across 30 different driver profiles, with BC starting at lower prices than Ontario and the Atlantic provinces.

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Example: 30 year old male, married, employed, 14 years driving experience with a 2019 Ford F350 SD XLT CrewCab:

  • Abbotsford ($2,413)
  • Nanaimo ($1,689)
  • Prince George ($1,911)
  • Vancouver’s West End ($2,385)
  • West Kelowna ($1,928)
  • Calgary ($5,042)
  • Edmonton ($4,480)
  • Grand Prairie ($4,701)
  • Red Deer ($4,939)
  • Esterhazy ($1,417)
  • Saskatoon ($1,416)
  • Winnipeg ($1,150)
  • Toronto ($5,294)
  • John ($4,483)
  • Charlotte Town ($3,023)
  • St. John’s ($6,828)

Example: 35-year-old woman, single, employed, 19 years driving experience with a 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan:

  • Abbotsford ($1,492)
  • Nanaimo ($1,043)
  • Prince George ($1,137)
  • Vancouver’s West End ($1,495)
  • West Kelowna ($1,178)
  • Calgary ($2,639)
  • Edmonton ($2,701)
  • Grand Prairie ($2,264)
  • Red Deer ($2,546)
  • Esterhazy ($1,075)
  • Saskatoon ($1,073)
  • Winnipeg ($1,359)
  • Toronto ($1,876)
  • John ($1,889)
  • Charlottetown ($1,386)
  • St. John’s ($2,255)

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Example: 50-year-old woman, married, employed, 34 years driving experience with a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan SE:

  • Abbotsford ($1,108)
  • Nanaimo ($782)
  • Prince George ($767)
  • Vancouver’s West End ($1,163)
  • West Kelowna ($847)
  • Calgary ($1,497)
  • Edmonton ($1,504)
  • Grand Prairie ($1,164)
  • Red Deer ($1,247)
  • Esterhazy ($878)
  • Saskatoon ($877)
  • Winnipeg ($1,001)
  • Toronto ($1,034)
  • John ($1,083)
  • Charlotte Town ($686)
  • St. John’s ($1,346)

“(Ernst and Young) found that auto insurance is more affordable in provinces with publicly owned care-based models than in provinces with private insurance models,” ICBC said in its press release.

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Notably, the report came about 16 months after the province changed its insurance model, with ICBC claiming BC drivers saved an average of $490 when they first renewed their insurance.

That price reduction, ICBC says, comes as a result of eliminating “the adversarial approach of suing drivers and the hundreds of millions spent on legal fees under the previous litigation-based system.”


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ICBC continued, saying, “It’s a more cost-effective model that passes those savings on to customers through lower insurance rates, and sees more money going directly into the care and recovery of British Columbia’s accidentally injured people.”

However, ICBC’s new model called Enhanced Care has its detractors, and Global News has published several articles on the subject.

ICBC published an enhanced care customer report last January touting the benefits. This report can be accessed on their website.

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Click this link to view this week’s 42-page report.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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