ICBC rates set to jump

Injury claims blamed for bulk of the increase.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Drivers in B.C. should strap themselves in: ICBC is about to hike insurance rates by as much as $30 per premium.

It's the first hike since 2007 and it's being blamed on a skidding global economy and "out-of-control" claims.

The corporation's net income for the first nine months of 2011 was $52 million, down from $331 million last year, according to ICBC president Jon Schubert.

Claims costs rose to $2.47 billion, an increase of $200 million compared to the first nine months of 2010, he says. Bodily injury claims accounted for most of the hike.

At the same time, the worldwide economic slump has cut into ICBC's investment income returns, with $341 million received this year, down $38 million over the same period last year, Schubert says.

Details on rate hikes will be revealed when ICBC files an application with the BC Utilities Commission in the next few days.

-- with files from The Canadian Press

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