ICBC is warning drivers to drive carefully during the winter weather and reminding drivers to slow down as accidents continue to pile up. "We have ice, we have snow, we have slush and drivers perhaps are driving too quickly for the conditions," quoted ICBC spokesperson Sam Corea. During the peak of the winter season and heavy snowfalls in December, there were as many as 5000 calls directed towards Dial-a-Claim a day. The insurance company still got 3500 calls on Friday, in comparison to 700 more per day in previous years. "Our call volumes continue to be up on Friday and Saturday from the regular call volume, but not as high as they were in December, so we kind of are in catch-up mode right now," said Corea. "We don't see [this weather] very often on the Lower Mainland so it serves as a good reminder that when it does snow, when there is slush and there is ice, you can't drive your regular way, so you need to adjust."
Corea is hoping drivers will hear his pleas if the winter conditions continue to plague the Lower Mainland for the rest of January. He also stated that posted speed limits are meant for ideal conditions, so drivers must exercise caution and slow down while driving in the snow and slush. Winter tires are not mandatory for much of the Lower Mainland, but if an accident were to occur and if the adjusters were to determine the crash could have been avoided by having the correct equipment installed, the driver could be at fault. However, the insurance is still valid he assured.
The B.C. government has launched a review of ICBC's basic insurance rates. The insurance company has a monopoly of vehicle insurance for the province and has been under fire since they released a worst-case scenario of 42 per cent rate increase by 2020. The company deflected the blame onto skyrocketing claims, increase cases of insurance fraud and more injury claims is the result of the rate increase. However, the highly profitable company has been a political tool for the ruling political party of the province which have siphoned billions of profits into provincial revenue. So instead of having a rainy day fund to pay for skyrocketing claims, increase cases of insurance fraud and more injury claims, the residents of the province must now foot the bill.