We recently published an article about the Top Stories in Homeowners Insurance for 2021, and we now switch focus to the road. It was an equally eventful annum for automobile insurance policyholders, and as such it’s important for drivers to heed the events of the past year so that they are better prepared for the one to come. Here’s your year in review.
Top 4 Stories Regarding Automobile Insurance from 2021 that BC Drivers Want to Know About
I. ICBC Launched Enhanced Care / No Fault Insurance Program
The biggest news about auto insurance for BC drivers in 2021 was without a doubt the arrival (May 1) of ICBC’s Enhanced Care program. The program is based on a no fault insurance model. No-fault insurance is a type of automobile insurance coverage that helps pay for your medical care if you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident (MVA) regardless of who was responsible. Enhanced Care is poised to revolutionize coverage, premiums, and most importantly the care you and injured parties receive after an MVA. Here’s everything you need to know about ICBC’s new care based model as we move into 2022.
II. BC Flood Shuts Down Roads
The November/December BC flood was the lead in our Top 3 Homeowners Insurance Stories of 2021 article, and it finds its way into our auto insurance headlines too. While floods are commonly associated with home and commercial property damage, they most certainly pose a threat to vehicles, drivers, and passengers.
When parking, here is what you need to do with your vehicle when the potential for flooding exists:
- Move your vehicle to higher ground right away. Park at the highest part of a hill or find an above-ground parking garage and park at a higher level.
- Seal your vehicle by ensuring all doors, windows, and vents are closed tight.
- Disconnect the battery and all electronics if you are not able to park at a safe elevation.
- Remove all valuables from your vehicle.
When driving, here is what you need to do if in the middle of a flood:
- Stop driving. Do not attempt to drive through a flood, as even a foot of water can cause serious damage to your vehicle and threaten your (and passenger) safety.
- Seal the windows and vents, exit the vehicle immediately, and head for higher ground or safe quarters. You do not want to be trapped inside of a vehicle during a flood.
- If there is time to do so, disconnect your battery after exit.
III. Range Anxiety Challenges EV Drivers
Electric vehicle (EV) sales grew significantly in 2021, as registrations in Canada jumped by nearly 90% year-over-year. BC typically leads all of North America in electric-vehicle sales, and in 2021 approximately 10% of all new vehicle registrations in the province were for EVs. As a result, more EV drivers are on the road. While this is great news for the environment, it presents a new challenge to drivers in the form of range anxiety. By definition, range anxiety is the negative mental and emotional state experienced by those who constantly worry about whether or not their battery charge is sufficient enough to take them over long distances. Their concerns are compounded by not being able to find functioning charging stations on the Trans Canada Highway or the other roads that connect the cities and towns of BC.
Range anxiety adds stress to the driving experience and becomes a significant distraction which can lead to an accident. View our guide to overcoming the challenges of range anxiety in order to reduce stress-driven distraction on the road, which will reduce your risk of an MVA.
IV. Car Thieves Have Adapted Too
The shift in driving technology has also caused a shift in the way thieves look at your vehicle. In 2021, a greater number of vehicle thefts that occurred as a result of compromised key-fobs were reported. View our guide to preventing fob-based auto theft. Another way car thieves have adapted with the times is made evident by their shift in the target itself. It’s no longer just about stealing the vehicle and/or the contents of the glovebox. In 2021, there was a record number of catalytic converter thefts in BC. While the BC government has pledged to mitigate this risk by including catalytic converter parts in their definition of “regulated metal” (making it harder to sell on the black market) there are steps you can take to reduce your own risk. View our guide to smarter parking to discourage this threat.
Please use the top stories from 2021 as motivation to receive a comprehensive review of your current auto insurance policy. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Park Insurance at your earliest convenience.