New drivers in B.C. feeling the pinch from new ICBC rates | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions


Kamloops News

New drivers in B.C. feeling the pinch from new ICBC rates

Image Credit: Shutterstock
November 14, 2019 - 7:00 AM

For most teens and young adults, getting your licence and first car is an exciting time but for 17-year-old Payden Irving, she’s already wondering how she will be able to afford to drive under ICBC’s new insurance model.

The Kamloops teen, who recently graduated high school in June, will be able to get her N-level licence next month. She already has a vehicle waiting for her — a 2007 Chevy Aveo that cost $6,000 — and according to ICBC, her insurance would be roughly $6,000 for the year, and her situation is far from unique, Irving says.

“I have heard from friends of my friends that they pay $5,000 or more for their car because ‘new drivers are unsafe’,” she says.

READ MORE: Big, possibly expensive, changes to ICBC coming in September

Since graduating, Irving has been looking for work as she plans to go to university next fall. For many places, having a valid drivers licence is a requirement to work.

“When I get my N I won’t be able to afford insurance,” she says.

The new ICBC model which came into effect Sept. 1 is more driver-based, according to ICBC’s website. It also changed how safe-driving discounts are applied. That means young drivers are considered a higher risk and have to wait longer to get meaningful discounts.  

Currently, Irving is under an insurance plan with her dad while she has her learners licence, but that will change once she gets her next licence. Insurance on her own would cost more than $500 per month.

“I am paying rent, paying my debt, and paying just to be able to live and my dad can’t pay my insurance so that makes it hard. I only make minimum wage so I’m maybe making $700 every two weeks,” she says. “It’s hard for us to afford (insurance) when we are only 17 or 18 years old.”

Patricia Pryor, 20, has her N licence but hasn’t bothered getting her own insurance or car yet.

“I know I am going to have to pay a lot depending on the car I get and I am not excited about that since I already have so many bills to pay,” she says.

Pryor helps her mom by driving her brothers to school and to hockey practice. Even getting a plan under her mom’s insurance would still be expensive, Pryor says.

“I don’t know if I am going to be able to afford it,” she says.

Austin Kovacs Dellow, 19, was one of a few people who went to the ICBC headquarters last week to bring awareness to the issue.

Kovacs Dellow says with the new terms, his insurance will cost nearly $6,000 for the year.

The TRU student works part-time throughout the school year and says the majority of his income goes to paying for insurance. Fortunately, Kovacs Dellow has financial assistance from his parents, but for many people that isn’t an option, he says.

“I want (insurance) to be affordable for everyone,” he says. “There are situations where people pay more on insurance than what their car is worth and that is just outrageous.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2019

  • Popular penticton News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile