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#81 Bob Fugger

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:40 AM

And as much as you say that employees are all for lower insurance rates, and I'm sure they are, for their own insurance payments, I've never seen a labour bargaining platform that includes demands for lower prices on company products and services. In reality, any bargaining position that includes net cost increases for better wages and benefits is a de facto demand for higher end-user prices.


You have, now: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=lvJ4rLxm7ZE

#82 Mike K.

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:47 AM

Not really, no.

The union wants more money for ICBC employees. More money for ICBC employees does not equate to lower premiums for BC drivers.

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#83 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:04 AM

^ ^ Yes, yes, they can say that in their ads, just like the teachers can say it's all about the children in their ads. Every good marketing campaign has a pleasant distraction.

But let's see the union's bargaining position and key points they have forwarded to the company and communicated to the rank and file.
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#84 LJ

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:02 PM

With private insurance, like in America, you have your insurance company vs. theirs. They can do all the dirty work. .


Unless they are both insured with the same company.
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#85 LJ

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:06 PM

ICBC is a successful corporation - just look at the increases in payments to government, lawyers, auto body shops, healthcare professionals and even IcBC management. All staff are asking for is that staff and customers share in that success, given that both groups are primarily responsible for it, in fair wage increases and lowered rates/rebates for drivers.

I'm sure if your boss was making a **** tonne of money and then proposing to not give you a raise for five years - not even cost of living increases - and then raised prices, you'd be a bit sour, too.


ICBC should have enough actuarial cash on hand to handle claims and anything above that should be given back through reduced premiums.

Employees should get cost of living increases, but unless their productivity increases or they take on new duties, that should be it.
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#86 LJ

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:10 PM

So if they have good employees, and no lack of qualified applicant for positions that come open, why arbitrarily offer wage and benefit improvements?


Same thing holds true for firemen, there is a huge competition for any available position and don't bother applying unless you have a relative or good friend that is already in.
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#87 Bob Fugger

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:51 PM

ICBC should have enough actuarial cash on hand to handle claims and anything above that should be given back through reduced premiums.

Employees should get cost of living increases, but unless their productivity increases or they take on new duties, that should be it.


LJ, the amount of cash required to settle future claims in the insurance industry is heavily regulated. ICBC does very well with its investments and so often has far beyond the regulated amount. I agree, the excess ought to be turned to customers. Instead, the coffers are raided by the robber barons that are the provincial government.

As for wage increases, bargaining unit staff would be ECSTATIC with cost of living increases. Instead, their purchasing has been eroding since 2010.

#88 Sparky

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:50 PM

In the "for what it's worth department" I think the current Liberal Government ( if you can call it that) should keep their filthy hands off of the residual dollars that ICBC..... HAD in their coffers .....and not suck those funds over to general revenue.

ICBC would have then been able to vary their rates to their customers and invest accordingly in order to factor future liabilities.

We as motorists are funding financial deficiencies related to political payouts for BC Rail and Boss.

#89 Bob Fugger

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:14 AM

The other thing folks don't know is that ICBC has embarked on a $400M Transformation Program, which in non-ICBC speak is a modernization program of its IT - of which it is in dire need. TP will revolutionize how insurance and claims are handled. For example, the average Claims Adjuster now has to use twelve text-based screens in order to administer the average claim. That will be going down to one web-based interface.

This is much needed (the current systems are a joke) and will result in higher efficiency, which translates into job losses; most of which will be absorbed mainly through attrition and reassignment. However, for some reason, none of this counts towards net zero, cooperative gains or whatever bad-faith bargaining name it's going by these days.

#90 Mike K.

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:35 AM

I just received my ICBC renewal notice:

"Rising injury costs and lower interest rates mean we're asking the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) for an 11.2% increase to Basic rates. As a public hearing process starts, the BCUC has approved an interim rate increase of 11.2% effective February 1st, 2012. If the final approved Basic rate differs from the interim rate, customers' premiums will be adjusted for the difference, subject to the BCUC's final Order. While Basic rates are increasing Optional rates will be decreasing due to lower theft and material damage costs.


As a result my insurance has increased by over 10%.

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#91 alex_wan

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:38 AM

ICBC is a successful corporation - just look at the increases in payments to government, lawyers, auto body shops, healthcare professionals and even IcBC management.

All staff are asking for is that staff and customers share in that success, given that both groups are primarily responsible for it, in fair wage increases and lowered rates/rebates for drivers..


Hmmm... Successful corporation would be embraced by consumers and according to the insurance consumer satisfaction reviews, ICBC is pretty low on the list of best insurance companies. Positioned as 20+ in insurers rating, almost at the end of the insurer's list... :o

#92 Bob Fugger

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:39 AM

I just received my ICBC renewal notice:

"Rising injury costs and lower interest rates mean we're asking the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) for an 11.2% increase to Basic rates. As a public hearing process starts, the BCUC has approved an interim rate increase of 11.2% effective February 1st, 2012. If the final approved Basic rate differs from the interim rate, customers' premiums will be adjusted for the difference, subject to the BCUC's final Order. While Basic rates are increasing Optional rates will be decreasing due to lower theft and material damage costs.

As a result my insurance has increased by over 10%.


Not sure if you're trying to imply that staff do not deserve fair compensation; however, ICBC's expense ratio (layman's terms: administration costs, including staffing, but not including actual claims payputs) for 2010 is nearly 10% lower than the P&C (property and casualty) insurance industry benchmark. More remarkable is that unlike the private insurance industry, this ratio includes non-insurance costs, such as driver licensing and road safety.

So, even taking into account all of the extra stuff that ICBC does (mostly on behalf of the Province), rates did not go up because staff are being overpaid.


Here's your real culprit for rate hikes:
  • Increased injury costs (i.e., more accidents, ****tier drivers) MINUS
  • Lower investment returns (i.e., crappy economy) MINUS
  • $0.75B in excess capital reserves raided by the Province (i.e., robber barrons) EQUALS
  • Rate hikes
Arguably, if the Province just left the excess capital in reserve, as it has done for the past several years, likely ICBC would have been able to absorbed the above and rates would have stayed the same.

#93 Bob Fugger

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:41 AM

Hmmm... Successful corporation would be embraced by consumers and according to the insurance consumer satisfaction reviews, ICBC is pretty low on the list of best insurance companies. Positioned as 20+ in insurers rating, almost at the end of the insurer's list... :o


Bit of a spurious argument. I'll concede that people passionately hate ICBC; but, equally or more hated are Bell, Rogers, Shaw and Air Canada. Would you say that these corporations are not successful?

#94 spanky123

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:40 AM

The other thing folks don't know is that ICBC has embarked on a $400M Transformation Program, which in non-ICBC speak is a modernization program of its IT - of which it is in dire need. TP will revolutionize how insurance and claims are handled. For example, the average Claims Adjuster now has to use twelve text-based screens in order to administer the average claim. That will be going down to one web-based interface.

This is much needed (the current systems are a joke) and will result in higher efficiency, which translates into job losses; most of which will be absorbed mainly through attrition and reassignment. However, for some reason, none of this counts towards net zero, cooperative gains or whatever bad-faith bargaining name it's going by these days.


So like most Government IT projects it will come in over budget and do half of what it was supposed to do. I agree that ICBC does a very good job managing costs but IT is one area where the private sector would have done a much better job at a far lower price.

#95 Mike K.

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:46 AM

Thanks for the insight, Bob.

I think insurance rates for bad drivers should equal out insurance increases so good drivers aren't dinged, but that's just me.

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#96 Bob Fugger

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:54 AM

So like most Government IT projects it will come in over budget and do half of what it was supposed to do. I agree that ICBC does a very good job managing costs but IT is one area where the private sector would have done a much better job at a far lower price.


Believe it or not, rather than borrow the money and capitalize it, they have paid for TP out of excess capital (from the Optional side - they cannot take it from the Basic, if I understand correctly). In addition, they are looking at off-the-shelf products and integrating them, rather than doing their own programming (which is what got it there in the first place).

It's such a shame, ICBC really does a lot of things well. They just get it so wrong in other respects.

#97 Bob Fugger

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:55 AM

Thanks for the insight, Bob.

I think insurance rates for bad drivers should equal out insurance increases so good drivers aren't dinged, but that's just me.


It's a bit more complicated than that, but I agree with your sentiment.

#98 alex_wan

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:21 AM

Bit of a spurious argument. I'll concede that people passionately hate ICBC; but, equally or more hated are Bell, Rogers, Shaw and Air Canada. Would you say that these corporations are not successful?


Yes, I would say some of them not - if I look for example at Air Canada's financials, I would argue that it is a successful company! :rolleyes:

I assume in case of ICBC many are unhappy with having no choice but using ICBC rather than with ICBC as a company :D

#99 skeptic

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:27 PM

I assume in case of ICBC many are unhappy with having no choice but using ICBC rather than with ICBC as a company.

Yes, it is the lack of competiton and the tied selling of the registration and mandatory first $100K of liability that is the problem. I moved here from Ontario where (a) I could renew my sticker for 2 years at a time by mail or from a vending machine in a mall and (b) there are a plethora of private insurance companies offering complete insurance packages. Here, I actually have to appear IN PERSON at an ICBC broker's office every year to get a sticker, and there are only a few private auto insurers operating in BC because ICBC monopolizes the most profitable part of the business (that's the first $100K in liability). I'm assuming this is because of the insurance portion of the deal, but I buy all of my optional insurance from CDI on the internet, so it might just be because ICBC doesn't have to make it convenient for its customers so they don't bother.

In my opinion ICBC behaves like a dinasaur left-wing government monopoly from the 1970's (which, of course, it is--it was created by the NDP in 1973).

The usual argument that ICBC contributes all its "profits" to the provincial purse will be advanced to justify its existance, but consider this: if that is a reason for the government to keep free enterprise out of a business why do we allow private companies to do business at all? Everything should be nationalized!

Mind you, if Christy Clark can't transition from her vacuous "family first" platform to the "party of free enterprise" platform we may have that. Adrian Dix is licking his chops at the thought of dragging the BC economy back into the 1990's. 5% raises per year for all unions! (Is it a coincidence that ICBC workers picked the same demand as the teachers?)

I know I'm getting off topic a bit, but this stuff is all related. I don't think the union sabre-rattling is unrelated to next year's provincial election.

#100 Sparky

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:43 PM

alex_wan,

Welcome to Vibrant Victoria.

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