ICBC launches suit against alleged theft ring
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has filed a civil action against 20 individuals for their alleged involvement in a vehicle theft ring.
The case involves a total of seven vehicle claims from 2002 until 2003, says information from the ICBC.
The corporation is seeking to recover approximately $300,000, the cost paid out for the stolen vehicles, in addition to the cost to investigate the claims, legal fees and punitive damages.
The Vancouver Sun reported that approximately Cdn$2.7 million was claimed from ICBC in connection with the theft ring.
The scheme allegedly used by the ring involved stealing a vehicle and getting a legitimate Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for the same make and model, says an ICBC statement.
"It is alleged that the vehicles were then registered in B.C. using the forged registration documents to create a new identity for the vehicles," explains information from the Crown corporation.
"The vehicles were then transferred one or more times to the various defendants named in the civil action."
The vehicles, allegedly 49 in total, were then resold, and in the meantime a claim would be made to ICBC by the original owner for replacement costs, reported the Vancouver Sun. (courtesy Canadian Underwriter)
donates $10,000 to Hope, B.C. rescue team
presented a $10,000 cheque recently to a search and rescue team
in Hope, B.C. to help replace the community's Jaws of Life, the
Hope Standard reported recently.
According to the newspaper, a thief had stolen the team's search
and rescue vehicle and $104,000 worth of equipment. Also missing
were avalanche victim locaters, flashlights, a generator, hacksaws
and pry bars.
Although the vehicle was eventually recovered in Surrey, B.C., two
sets of Jaws of Life remained missing. The Jaws are generally used
to rescue victims trapped during vehicle collisions.
"Search and rescue volunteers in Hope perform crucial wilderness
and car crash rescues in the Fraser Canyon and surrounding area,"
added Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General John Les,
in a press release. "They help save lives and [ICBC's] donation
will help to ensure that they can continue that valuable work."
The Hope Standard reported the stolen equipment was not insured
due to a mix-up in paperwork. The news prompted ICBC to help with
a cheque, which will be used to purchase a pipe required to make
the Jaws of Life work.
"This donation is in recognition of the work that you do...
for all the travellers in this region, Darcy Gorchynski, ICBC's
regional director for the Fraser Valley, told the Standard. "This
location is such a vital link for the entire country."
Many people and groups throughout the region have been stepping
up to aid
the volunteer group, including a major donation from Duke Energy.
files civil action to recover claims costs
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) recently filed
a statement of claim in BC Supreme court to take civil action with
the intent to recover claims paid and investigation costs, plus
damages, associated to an alleged motorcycle theft scheme.
In 2003, ICBC investigators received information through its Tip
Line the ICBC's tool to combat fraud and vehicle-related
crimes regarding motorcycle thefts in the Lower Mainland.
In June of that year, police executed search warrants at M/Speed
Performance, a Burnaby motorcycle parts store, and a warehouse in
North Vancouver connected to M/Speed's owner, Marbod Kern. The searches
resulted in what is believed to be the largest recovery of stolen
motorcycles and parts in BC.
It is alleged that Kern and an accomplice were involved in the dismantling
of stolen motorcycles with the intention of selling the parts for
profit. Kern was also charged criminally and pleaded guilty to a
possession of stolen property charge.
The estimated value of recovered vehicles was over $250,000.
"ICBC works with law enforcement agencies to combat auto crimes
that impact our customers," Mark Withenshaw, ICBC vice president
of loss management, says. "We will not sit back and simply
pass those costs onto our customers."
reports record profit, consumer association requests reduced auto
Consumers' Association of Canada recently called on Insurance Corporation
of British Columbia (ICBC) to make further cuts to auto insurance
rates for BC drivers.
"ICBC again announced record profits," Bruce Cran, president
of the association, says. "By the end of this year ICBC will
be sitting on.more than a billion dollars."
ICBC recently reported a net income of $164 million for the first
half of 2005, down from $167 million for the same period last year.
Claims and related costs for the first six months of 2005 were $1.34
billion, a 6% increase over the first six months of 2004. Insurance
premiums earned in the first half of 2005 were $1.54 billion, compared
to $1.48 billion for the same period in 2004. This increase is primarily
due to increased sales of optional coverage and an increase in the
number of vehicles on BC's roadways.
ICBC's investments significantly contributed to net income in the
first six months of 2005, increasing to $255 million from $215 million.
Cran says the reason the ICBC is holding a billion dollars rather
than use the money to reduce rates is because the association is
because the BC Government ordered ICBC to generate profits and retain
the money rather than immediately lowering rates in order to build
up its financial reserves to a level on par with private insurers.
According to Cran, BC is the only province with a public auto insurance
system requiring this same level of
reserves, which will ultimately result in "excessively high
rates for consumers and businesses." He adds that the BC Government
decided to 'level the playing field' by fixing ICBC's rates artificially
high in order to enable private insurers to compete."
In an announcement associated to its rate release, Paul Taylor,
ICBC president and CEO, says, "ICBC's net income stays in the
company as retained earnings to absorb unexpected spikes in claims
costs or unanticipated declines in investment income." He adds
that the ICBC invests its retained earnings and reserves to help
keep insurance rates low and stable.
Although the overall number of claims in the first half of 2005
is slightly lower than claims for the same time period in 2004 and
the number of comprehensive claims declined by 3.7%, auto theft
is a growing cost for ICBC policyholders. "It is too early
to say if the increase in overall claims and related costs marks
a changing trend," Yaylor says, "but it is an example
of the volatility of the costs of claims and their impact on ICBC's
ICBC recently indicated that its filing with the BCUC later this
summer will propose no change to its basic insurance rates for 2006.
After a public process, the BCUC will determine if basic rates should
remain the same, increase or decrease.
awarded $2.93 million in lawsuit
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has recently been
awarded approximately $2.93 million in damages as a result of 12
fraudulent insurance claims, which occurred in Lower Mainland in
the late 1990s.
Each of the 12 defendants has been ordered by a B.C. Supreme Court
jury to pay a
part of the total sum based on their level of involvement in specific
claims including: $72,251 in ICBC's investigative costs; $322,506
in claims costs; and, $2,542,500 in punitive damages.
ICBC has been awarded with claims for compensation of its own claim
and investigation costs, plus punitive damages ranging from $55,000
to $900,000 against each of the individual participants. Ahmed Faris
must pay an excess of $1.1 million.
The civil suit was initiated in July 2003 when ICBC filed a lawsuit
against 21 people and three companies. The Company claims that the
accused individuals "conspired to intentionally cause 10 collisions
and then made fraudulent claims to ICBC for compensation. Instigating
the lawsuit was ICBC's potential recovery of claims costs paid,
plus all additional costs related to its investigation, punitive
damages, interest and legal costs.
"ICBC invests in fraud prevention because less fraud means
low and stable rates for our customers," Mark Withenshaw, vice
president of loss management at ICBC, says. "We will not sit
back and simply pass the cost of fraud onto our honest customers."(courtesy
Auto Glass cited for 'kickbacks'
At least five officials conspired to defraud ICBC, court documents
- Speedy Auto Glass, the nation's largest auto glass repair company,
is being accused of operating a kickback scheme and defrauding British
Columbia's public auto insurer.
court documents filed Wednesday, the Insurance Corp. of B.C. alleges
that at least five top officials at Speedy -- including its B.C.
general manager and regional manager -- conspired to defraud ICBC.
documents say Speedy officials, and their Burnaby-based parent company
TCG International, engaged in a scheme to falsify documents, create
duplicate sets of account books and offer "kickbacks."
The documents allege that in an effort to attract large clients
such as car dealerships and autobody shops, Speedy officials would
initially accept the appropriate deductibles from such clients,
but quietly reimburse them later. The documents refer to this as
"the kickback scheme."
estimate on the size of the alleged fraud was available Wednesday
but the court-filed writ says ICBC has paid Speedy $20 million since
January 2002 in respect to glass claims.
a result of the lawsuit, ICBC severed all ties with the 38 Speedy
outlets in B.C. -- some of which have been operating for 58 years.
damning allegations were the product of months of investigations
internal ICBC memo from chief operating officer Bill Goble, obtained
Wednesday by The Vancouver Sun, says the lawsuit follows an investigation
into Speedy's compliance with the Glass Express program. The controversial
ICBC program is aimed at serving customers better by eliminating
the need to go to an ICBC claims centre.
a result of this investigation ICBC has commenced legal action against
Speedy Glass and ICBC will cease doing business with all Speedy
Glass locations," says the internal memo from Goble sent to
employees on Wednesday.
no circumstances should ICBC staff make any comment to the media,"
says the memo.
McClelland, spokesman for ICBC, acknowledged Goble's memo as legitimate
but refused to comment on any aspect of the case.
Schober, president of parent company TCG International, said he
was shocked by the allegations.
were surprised to learn of the situation this morning. We are extremely
concerned with the allegations contained in the documents filed
in court earlier today," said Schober, reading from a prepared
statement Wednesday but refusing to answer questions.
is certainly our policy to comply with the policies and procedures
of ICBC. We have a code of conduct that requires our employees to
act in an ethical and legal manner in all of their business affairs,"
court documents say Speedy officials were waiving insurance deductibles
in an effort to build business. By waiving the deductibles B.C.
drivers should be paying, Speedy built its business and thus the
salaries and bonuses paid to senior managers were increased.
subordinate employees refused "to engage in such wrongful conduct
[they] would be transferred out of British Columbia or their services
would be terminated," says the writ.
employees named in the writ are Bill Nears, general manager for
Speedy Glass Shops and Gordon Fraser, the company's regional manager.
At least three other employees are referred to as either John Doe
or Mary Doe.
is handling the alleged fraud as a civil issue and has not asked
police to investigate.
Preissl, spokesman for the Auto Glass Survival Coalition, an industry
group that has been battling the Glass Express program for years,
said the crackdown on Speedy is long overdue.
is the start of a big cleanup program," Preissl said in an
said the allegations, if proven, are indicative of the unfair and
illegal business practices within the automotive industry.
this will clean up the industry and ensure everyone is treated fairly."
was the largest participant in Glass Express, the ICBC program that
owners of automotive glass shops have for years been criticizing
as unfair, punitive, wasteful and harmful to business.
shops have had to hire full-time employees just to keep up with
the paperwork imposed by the ICBC program.
program sets standards for glass shops ranging from washroom cleanliness
and opening hours to technician skills and signage.
Wednesday, business owners were hoping the end is near for Glass
program should be halted and put under full investigation,"
Preissl said. "It has cost a lot of people their livelihoods."
investigation into Speedy appears to have been sparked by Lawrence
Grant, owner of Rapid Auto Glass in Coquitlam, who has written letters
to ICBC, cabinet ministers and MLAs in a two-year effort aimed at
correcting what he saw as an injustice.
was an unfair playing field between the big corporate stores and
the independents," Grant said Wednesday.
said his complaints about unfair business practices at Speedy were
largely dismissed and ignored.
in the industry knew it was happening," he said. And yet "certain
issues were not being investigated . . . I feel ICBC has finally
opened up their eyes. This is a step toward treating everyone fairly."
allegations suggest Speedy was improperly waiving deductibles for
customers in an effort to win more business.
is how the scheme, according to industry insiders, is believed to
customer comes in to have a windshield replaced, typically a $700
customer should pay an insurance deductible of $200, with the glass
shop submitting a bill of about $500 to ICBC.
the allegations facing Speedy suggest certain customers had either
all, or part of, the $200 deductible waived. A Speedy employee would
pay the deductible -- on a personal Visa card -- and be reimbursed
would be told the transaction was above-board and legitimate.
Vancouver Sun has obtained a copy of a Visa statement, allegedly
belonging to a Speedy Glass employee. The statement shows seven
charges of either $100 or $200 were made from the Speedy Auto Glass
outlet in Langley on the same day in September 2002.
The Vancouver Sun 2004
Buys Kirmac Information Systems from Kirmac Collision
Inc., a Seattle-based software company, has acquired Kirmac Information
Systems Inc. from Kirmac Collision Services LP for an undisclosed
amount of cash and shares. This acquisition gives Vivonet Inc. full
ownership and control of Autoprise, Inc., a software development
company that provides collision repair management solutions.
Inc. provides traditional and Internet-based shop management systems
for single- and multiple-site operations, data warehousing solutions
and business intelligence products. Autoprise also offers services
including initial system planning and design, help desk, professional
services, application hosting, and implementation services.
acquisition of 100% of Autoprise Inc. is advantageous on many fronts,
and will provide both our customers and shareholders with increased
value," said Ryan Volberg, President and CEO Vivonet, Inc.
"Autoprise customers already enjoy the efficiency and customer
service benefits of Vivonet's Frameworks technologies in their Solo,
Unity and Reveal products. From an operational perspective, both
Vivonet and Autoprise will benefit from
combined infrastructure, operational efficiencies and the advantages
of a common technology platform. Autoprise has achieved very strong
quarter over quarter revenue growth and this acquisition will allow
Autoprise to continue along this path while completing Vivonet's
strategy to be active in two complimentary vertical industries".
Skills Competition Highlights Skills Shortage In Automotive Industry
20 most skilled automotive students from high schools across the
British Columbia will be teaming brainpower with horsepower at the
Ford, BCAA and BCIT Student Auto Skills Competition this Saturday.
The annual competition, now in its 13th year, is aimed at encouraging
careers in the automotive industry and raising awareness about the
current and predicted shortage of qualified technicians in the automotive
The Business Council of British Columbia reports that in the decade
between 1998 and 2008, 8,000 skilled technicians will be required
to fill positions in the automotive trades sector --4,000 of them
new positions - making it the fourth largest employer among the
major trades in B.C.
The Industry Training and Apprenticeship Commission (ITAC) predicts
that the growing rate of retirement coupled with industry demands
for well-trained workers will lead to a shortage of qualified trade
and technical workers in B.C.
"I've been in the automotive industry for 14 years and the
increasing shortage of skilled technicians is definitely prevalent,"
says Judy Jobse, service manager for Dams Ford Lincoln in Langley,
B.C., where she manages 15 technicians. Jobse is the featured guest
speaker at this year's Auto Skills Competition banquet on May 2
where she'll give students insight into careers in the automotive
industry. "Trades and technical jobs will be hit the hardest
when technicians retire--especially since the current average age
of technicians is between 45 and 50. The Auto Skills Competition
is one way we can draw young people to the trade and show them the
benefits," adds Jobse.
This year's Student Auto Skills Competition features qualifying
high school students from Abbotsford, Coquitlam, Dawson Creek, Fort
St. John, Maple Ridge, Mission, New Westminster, Penticton and Terrace.
The teams will compete in teams of two and be required to diagnose
and repair identical malfunctions deliberately installed in vehicles.
The first team to successfully start and road test their vehicle
Each student on the first place team will receive an automotive
scholarship to the post secondary institution of their choice and
an open scholarship to BCIT's automotive program. Both first and
second place teams will represent B.C. in the national final, hosted
by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) in Oakville, Ont.,
on June 21.
INC. IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT TIM WILDER HAS JOINED THE COMPANY
AS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
B.C. Canada (January 28, 2003): Autoprise, Inc., a software and
services company specializing in innovative solutions for the automotive
collision repair industry, announced today that Tim Wilder, former
President of Kirmac Collision and KiT Systems has joined the company
as Executive Vice President of Business Development. With over 14
years of collision industry and IT experience, Mr. Wilder will focus
on building key industry liaisons and ensuring Autoprise product
and service offerings are in line with the direction of the industry.
addition of Tim is a tremendous win for the Autoprise team and for
our customers, said Ryan Volberg, Chief Executive Officer
of Autoprise, Inc. Tims unique combination of IT expertise
and practical hands-on experience growing a collision repair chain
make him a uniquely qualified individual. His existing relationships
combined with an insightful understanding of the North American
collision and claims fulfillment market will be key factors enabling
him to meet the companys objectives for his position."
joining Autoprise, Mr. Wilder worked with Kirmac Collision for 14
years, most recently as the companys President. Tim was instrumental
in growing Kirmac Collision from a single site, $3 million dollar
company, to its current position with 12 locations and $19 million
in sales. Additionally, Tim was a co-founder of KiT Systems, a spin-off
company from the Kirmac business that developed integrated business
management solutions for the collision repair industry. Currently
over 250 collision repair shops across North America currently run
their businesses on KiTs fully integrated suite of software
products. Prior to working with Kirmac Collision, Tim spent three
years with 3M in their commercial media, marketing research and
am thrilled to be a part of the Autoprise team. My goal is to ensure
we offer the best products and professional services in the industry
and build on our existing base of satisfied customers, said
Wilder. The collision industry is in a state of change right
now and we are ideally positioned to provide collision enterprises
with the management solutions they need to operate with more efficiency
and profitability while pleasing insurance companies and their customers.
About Autoprise, Inc.:
Positioning the company as the Technology partner supporting
the Collision Industry and high value claims fulfillment,
Autoprise provides traditional and Internet-based shop management
systems for single and multiple-site operations, data warehousing
solutions and business intelligence products. To complement these
products, Autoprise offers a full range of system life-cycle services
including initial system planning and design, help desk and professional
services, application hosting, and planning and implementation services.
is a U.S. privately held company with research, development and
Canadian sales managed by Autoprises Vancouver-based subsidiary,
Autoprise Solutions Canada, Inc. For more information on Autoprise
products or services phone 1- 877-828-8677 (North America) or visit
the Autoprise web site at www.autoprise.com.
to look at reasons behind rate hike, says BCAA
BC, Nov. 22 /CNW/ - The auto insurance rate increase approved
today by the provincial government should serve as a 'wake up
call' for B.C. motorists and traffic safety agencies, says the
British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA). ICBC justified
the rate hike partially on the grounds that claims related to
auto theft and collisions have increased sharply during the past
few years. That, says BCAA, should signal an alarm that action
is required to help motorists protect themselves against theft
"If the number or severity of collisions are in fact increasing,
we need to find out why and figure out what can be done to reduce
them," says Bill Bullis, BCAA's President and CEO. "Is
speed the cause? Are driver distractions a factor? Are road conditions
deteriorating? BCAA will be looking to ICBC and the government
to determine what can be done to reduce claims, and ultimately
reduce injuries and save lives."
BCAA also believes ICBC must not lose its focus on road safety
programming. "Over the past two decades, ICBC has emerged
as a leader in promoting road safety," adds Bullis. "A
lot of good work has been started, and must be allowed to continue
and focus in on those areas where it will have the greatest impact
and influence on driving behavior."
BCAA works closely with ICBC on road safety programs, including
the Child Passenger Safety Program, the Mature Driving Program
and publications designed to promote good and safe driving practices.
As an Autoplan broker, BCAA also supports the Autoplan Roadsense
The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation is a charitable organization
whose purpose is to enhance the safety of all road users, and whose
primary focus to date has been on re-energizing the school safety
patrol program across B.C.
BCAA is the province's largest member services association, working
on behalf of its more than 720,000 members to represent their interests
and connect them with a team of automotive, travel and insurance
professionals dedicated to serving their needs. To learn more about
BCAA's products and services, advocacy programs, or about the BCAA
Traffic Safety Foundation, visit www.bcaa.com.
Government slams brakes on auto insurance competition
Nov. 22 /CNW/ - The BC government remains stuck in neutral on the
issue of implementing true competition and choice for BC drivers.
Today's announcement means the Campbell Government has essentially
slammed the brakes on competition and choice in the province, sending
a message that the government knows what's best for consumers and
their auto insurance needs.
"There is no sign of anything that is going to benefit BC drivers,"
says Stan Griffin, President and CEO of the Insurance Bureau of
Canada. "Where is the plan? We don't see it. In fact, there
is no fundamental change on the table - no visible plan and no timelines
set out to achieve that." The insurance industry has also taken
exception to the announcement of the government's intent to appoint
a special regulator to oversee ICBC. BC currently has a superintendent
of insurance (Alan Clark) who oversees private insurers as regulator.
"There is no reason for the government not to make use of the
infrastructure already in place. Appointing a special regulator
for ICBC flies in the face of the rationale of having a government
monopoly in the first place."
Mr. Griffin likens the appointment of a special regulator to nothing
more than one government entity being created for the sole purpose
of regulating an existing government entity. "There is no efficiency
- only another layer of government that will end up costing taxpayers
more in the long term." "Private insurance companies believed
they had been working with a government committed to providing consumers
with choice - a choice they
believed a Campbell Government would provide when the BC Liberals
were elected," Griffin says.
During last year's election campaign, the BC Liberals promised to
open up the auto insurance market in the province. That would have
included competition and choice for consumers by allowing private
insurance companies to operate on an even playing field.
A majority of voters wanted the Campbell government to implement
change. In fact, an IBC poll shows that almost three-quarters of
those surveyed were in favour of full competition and choice in
BC auto insurance.
"No one can deny the overwhelming public support for a promised
change for consumers who want the option of competition and choice
in where and how they purchase auto insurance," says Griffin.
"We are hopeful that there will be a place at the table for
private auto insurers in the not too distant future."
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of
the home, car and business insurance industry. It represents the
insurance companies that provide more than 90 per cent of the home,
car and business insurance in Canada. For more information, visit
IBC's web site at www.ibc.ca.
seat installation gets easier, but BCAA still urges parents to have
child seats inspected
BC, Sept. 17 /CNW/ - New child seat and vehicle regulations will
help solve some of the difficulties associated with correctly installing
child seats into vehicles, but it's just as important that children
are properly secured in a child seat that is appropriate for their
age, size and weight.
Parents are reminded to pay close attention to the proper use of
their child's seat and should have their seats inspected by BCAA/ICBC
Child Passenger Safety Program technicians.
Under new regulations, effective September 1, 2002, Transport Canada
requires all new passenger vehicles made for the Canadian market
to be equipped with a Lower Universal Anchorage System (LUAS). Child
seat manufacturers are also required to adapt their new seats to
the anchorage system so that the two hardware systems fasten together
easily. This new system eliminates the need for fastening child
seats using the vehicle's seatbelt. It will simplify and improve
child seat installation in all LUAS- equipped vehicles by making
correct installation a virtual snap.
"The system also allows for traditional installation methods.
Using the seatbelt-system, parents are not required to immediately
convert to the new system," explains Linda Reid, Program Coordinator,
BCAA/ICBC Child Passenger Safety Program. "New car seats can
still be installed into older vehicles and vice versa."
Parents should also note that LUAS is not required for booster seats
as they are meant to position the child for correct lap/shoulder
belt fit and do not need to be anchored to the vehicle.
The new regulations are being introduced in response to the findings
of programs such as the BCAA/ICBC Child Passenger Safety Program,
which revealed that less than 10 per cent of child seats are installed
or used correctly.
"Even though the new regulation brings us a step closer to
simplified and improved child seat installation, this is just one
side of the equation," says Reid. "We still see many children
in the wrong seat for their age, size, or weight. This is a very
common problem that the new regulation won't solve, so we're advising
parents to continue to have their seats inspected."
Over 2,500 child seats have been inspected through the BCAA/ICBC
Child Passenger Safety Program since the program was launched on
September 19, 2001. Of those, only 197 were installed or used correctly.
To address these alarming statistics, BCAA has held numerous clinics
around the province to inspect seats and advise parents on the proper
installation and use of child seats. Starting January 1, 2003, the
Child Passenger Safety Program will be supported by the BCAA Traffic
Safety Foundation (TSF) - a non-profit organization focusing solely
on traffic safety initiatives. Through programs like the Child Passenger
Safety Program, the TSF
takes direct action to protect and save lives. It relies on donations
from individuals and the private sector to operate.
"The results of this year's child seat inspections are astounding
and clearly demonstrate the need for more education on the proper
use of safety devices," says John Râtel, Executive Director,
BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation. "With generous funding support
from concerned B.C. drivers and corporate citizens, the Traffic
Safety Foundation can continue to bring the Child Passenger Safety
Program to even more parents around the province."
To ensure your child seat is installed correctly:
- Call the BCAA/ICBC Child Passenger Safety toll free information
- Have your seat inspected, free of charge, by one of BCAA's trained
and certified technicians.
BCAA is the province's largest member services association, working
on behalf of its more than 715,000 members to represent their interests
and connect them with a team of automotive, travel and insurance
professionals dedicated to serving their needs. To learn more about
BCAA's products and services, advocacy programs, or about the BCAA
Traffic Safety Foundation, visit www.bcaa.com.
drivers support auto insurance competition, IBC poll reveals
latest Pollara-conducted poll of drivers in British Columbia suggests
that about 72% of the driving population favors open competition
in auto insurance within the province. The Pollara poll, conducted
on behalf of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), also indicates
that 63% of drivers are opposed to the government-run Insurance
Corp. of B.C. (ICBC) being the sole provider of auto insurance in
Furthermore, a majority of respondents believe that the B.C. government
should be responsible for issues such as road safety and licensing,
rather than the current system overseen by ICBC. "This issue
[ICBC's monopoly over basic auto insurance] has been one of much
debate for many years and now, there seems to be a [public] consensus
in favor of competition and choice," says the IBC's vice president
Pacific region, Lindsay Olson.
(thanks to Canadian Underwriter)
reports almost $40 million profit in Q-2 2002
Columbia's public insurer is reporting increased profits for the
quarter ending June 30, 2002, largely the result of changes to its
investment portfolio. The Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC) saw
a net profit of $39.6 million for the second quarter of this year,
compared to $8.5 million profit for the same period in 2001. The
result is net income for the first six months of the year of $9.2
million, versus a net loss of $30.6 million at the same point last
Total premiums written were up 12% to $730 million for the most
recent quarter, from $651 million for the second quarter of 2001.
However, insurance operations saw an underwriting loss of $67 million,
against a loss of $75 million last year during the same time.
Claims costs continue to rise, the corporation reports, up to $632
million for the quarter, from $571 million in Q-2 2001. "The
rising trend in claims continues to be a major concern for the Corporation,"
states a release. "This year has seen a continuing increase
in both the frequency and severity of crashes and at the same time,
car thefts have increased 14% over last year."
Gains came from the investment side, with investment income up to
$129 million versus $107 million for the second quarter last year.
ICBC outsourced the management of its Canadian equities portfolio,
and linked that portfolio to the S&P/TSX Composite Index during
this most recent quarter. "The adjustment of the portfolio
to the Index resulted in the disposition of a number of holdings
and was responsible for most of the exceptionally high gains on
sale of investments in the quarter."
As a result, about $30 million of the gains budgeted to be achieved
in the second half of 2002 have already occurred.
OF ICBC RESIGNS
a few short months after taking the post, new Insurance Corporation
of British Columbia (ICBC) president Kevin Benson is resigning.
In a press release, the public insurance notes that Benson is
leaving "to pursue a unique opportunity in Ontario",
beginning in September.
In the interim, ICBC chair will take over the duties of president
The change comes at a pivotal time, as ICBC awaits the ruling
of the province's Core Services Review, set up to evaluate the
viability of Crown corporations. When elected, the provincial
Liberals has promised to bring more competition to the B.C. auto
insurance market, but as yet no steps have been taken to accomplish
ICBC has taken a course of restructuring, reducing its staff significantly
and attempting to cut costs. Following last year's financial losses,
ICBC reported net income of $9.2 million for the first half of
this year and expects to have a break-even 2002.
Benson alludes to the potential opening of the market in his farewell
remarks, thanking ICBC staff "for the tremendous effort they
have made to so quickly position ICBC to succeed in a more competitive".
Addressing a conference of bodyshop owners and insurers in Mont
Tremblant, PQ, this week, Dominion of Canada CEO George Cooke
called the resignation "encouraging". A vocal proponent
of privatization, Cooke did admit that it is getting very late
in the Liberal's mandate for the privatization plan to be pushed
through. The current struggle of insurers on a global basis as
they seek to return to profitability is also a concern should
the market be opened up to competition, he adds. "Three years
ago it would have been a lot easier for companies to make the
case to their parent companies to invest in this new market."
Nonetheless, he says B.C. auto represents a "$2.5 billion
opportunity" for insurers, and says many insurers have indicated
their desire to compete in B.C.
to Canadain Underwriter)
Get Started First things first - finding a job is key to participating
in an apprenticeship program. Your employer's cooperation is required
to complete an apprenticeship as an Automotive Collision Repair Technician.
However, if it becomes difficult to find a job your next step would
be to seek training at an ITAC recognized educational institution.
This is one of 11 compulsory trades so one must be an apprentice or
be certified to work in the trade - so to get started you MUST have
of an Entry Level Training Program (ELTT) may result in credit towards
some of the required technical training.
Grade 12 education is preferred, a Grade 10 education or equivalent,
including English 10, Math 10, and Science 10 is recommended.
Education & Training The following educational institutions
offer training as an Automotive Collision Repair Technician:
British Columbia Institute of Technology
Okanagan University College
Vancouver Community College
Certification Requirements BC Certificate of Apprenticeship
BC Certificate of Qualification
Interprovincial Red Seal
is a Compulsory Trade.
To work as an Automotive Collision Repair Technician in BC, it is
mandatory to either hold a Certificate of Qualification in the trade,
or be registered in a four-year apprenticeship that will lead to
Certification and be working under a certified Automotive Collision
Automotive Collision Repair Technician apprenticeship process requires
time spent learning on the job and in the classroom. An apprentice
must complete a four (4) year program including 6,750 workplace
hours and 450 in-school hours of training. After completion of training,
a passing grade on exams will result in the BC Certificate of Apprenticeship,
BC Certificate of Qualification, and the Interprovincial Standard
Endorsement, also known as Red Seal.