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Don’t Take ICBC’s Abuse of Power Lying Down

Jeffrey S. Witten, B.A., LL.B.
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Personal Injury Lawyer at McComb Witten Marcoux

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Vancouver’s press has been buzzing this week about ICBC’s refusal to renew driver’s licenses when motorists have unpaid fines.

It was first raised by The Province in an interview with a Maple Ridge mother of two whose licence renewal was put on ice until she paid more than $2,000 in TransLink fines dating back over a decade.

But it isn’t just musty old TransLink fines that ICBC is muscling in on.

Criminal Code fines, Liquor Control Act violations, Family Maintenance Enforcement Program orders and even bridge tolls are now part of ICBC’s monster debt collection programme.

Just to be clear.

None of this has anything to do with ICBC’s original mandate, which was to provide British Columbians with quality auto insurance.

This subject is something I’ve already written about so I’m glad to see that Vancouver’s media has started to take notice.

In fact, an opinion piece in today’s paper calls ICBC out for its “abuse of power”.

Bingo Baby!!

I  couldn’t have put it better myself.

Ok, so it appears that ICBC’s role is changing.

The provincial government is turning what was mean to be an auto insurance provider for British Columbians into its central debt collection agency.

So let me ask you …. who’s going to foot the bill for ICBC’s change in mandate?

I’ll tell you what I think.

It’ll be motorists like you and me whose insurance premiums will no doubt increase in order to finance the cost of ICBC’s debt collection activities.

And taking it a step further does this change in mandate have anything to do with ICBC’s November 2013 announcement that it was raising basic insurance rates (i.e. insurance that everyone who insures a vehicle in B.C. needs to purchase) by 4.9%.

So what am I missing here?

Isn’t ICBC an insurance company?

Shouldn’t it be focusing on serving its customers rather than acting as the government’s heavy?

I don’t think it’s right.

And it’s good to see that I’m not alone.

Jeff Witten

Category: Car Accidents

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