ICBC slams the brakes on coverage for high-end cars

ICBC slams the brakes on coverage for high-end cars

August Luxury Motorcars president Matt August, seen here between a gull-wing Lamborghini Murcielago, left, and a gull-wing McLaren MP4, isn’t pleased with ICBC’s decision to no longer insure cars worth more than $150,000.

ICBC slams the brakes on coverage for high-end cars

Attention all high-end Lamborghini, McLaren, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bentley, Mercedes, Porsche and Rolls-Royce owners.

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has announced it will no longer insure expensive luxury cars worth $150,000 or more.

Motorists with such pricey rides will soon have to buy private insurance.

The corporation says it costs too much to repair super cars after a crash or accident.

It holds up the example of a Bentley Flying Spur, which required a $38,000 fix, more than the average sticker price of a new car for most motorists.

At August Luxury Motorcars in Kelowna, there are currently 22 cars on the lot worth $150,000 or more.

“I don’t think this is fair, or even legal,” said dealership president Matt August.

“But I’m not too-too worried. When something like this happens, we adapt and move on.”

August expects private insurance will probably be more expensive, but the coverage will likely be better than ICBC’s.

“The ICBC deductible on high-end cars was never less than $10,000, so I don’t know what the issue was,” said August.

“The people that own these cars are just as likely to pay any repair needed out of pocket rather than go through ICBC anyway.”

In addition, the government collects an additional 15 per cent tax on high-end cars and a fuel surcharge, according to August.

“Plus, it’s not like these people are out crashing up their exotic cars,” said August.

“Most Lamborghinis I know of sit in the garage as a showpiece and have only 3,000 kilometres on them after five years. They are driven very infrequently, only on special occasions.”

It’s estimated there are only about 3,000 cars in the province that are worth $150,000 or more.

So, only a tiny percentage of affluent citizens is affected by this change.

The $150,000 car decision was just one part of a bigger announcement by ICBC.

Effective, Nov. 1, ICBC rates went up by an average of 4.9 per cent.

However, the B.C. Utilities Commission still has to have a look at the 4.9 per cent hike and might roll it back.

It could have been more than 15 per cent if ICBC’s worst-case scenario was heeded.

However, provincial Transportation Minister Todd Stone is determined to keep rates as low as possible.

“I can assure British Columbians we are going to work to keep insurance rates affordable,” said Stone.

“The (utilities commission) asked ICBC to do some rate modelling based on an extreme, worst-case, hypothetical situation. I want to assure the public these are extreme projections that do not consider the actions the B.C. government and ICBC are taking to reduce the pressure on rates.”