Metro Vancouverites who braved the gas pumps this weekend were met with new record-breaking prices, with some stations charging 236.9 cents per litre! Seeing as BC Premier John Horgan confirmed that the cost to fuel our vehicles is “absolutely related” to Russian aggression overseas, we should expect the prices to persist as the “new normal” for quite some time. While there is a direct impact on available disposable income, there may be another way that rising gas prices may impact us financially – inflated risk against our auto insurance coverage. Here’s how.
4 Ways Rising Gas Prices in BC May Impact Auto Insurance and Liability Risk (with links to helpful guides)
New EV Drivers = New Stress
More and more drivers are choosing electric vehicles (EVs) in light of skyrocketing gas prices. Even staunch gear-heads are tossing in their greasy towels in favor of fuel efficiency. Moving forward there will be more EVs on the road than ever before. When you consider that BC already leads North America in number of EV drivers per capita, that’s saying a lot. But when we say “stress” in the heading above, we’re not referencing having to contend with a greater number of Teslas and Prius’ on the road. There’s nothing inherently stress-inducing about that, aesthetics (for purists) aside. Instead, we’re discussing a cognitive concern that may impact you as a new EV convert. This concern is known as range anxiety. Range anxiety references the negative mental and emotional state experienced by driver who constantly worry about whether or not their EV battery charge is sufficient enough for longer distance trips. These concerns are compounded by not being able to find functioning charging stations on the 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.
More Pedalers and Pedestrians on the Roads
Not everyone can afford or is willing to go out and get an EV vehicle to combat rising gas prices. Instead, many daily commuters are opting for pedal power. However, with bike lanes filling up, there is inflated risk of a motor vehicle accident between cyclists and automobiles. The risk of a claim is not only higher for drivers, but for cyclists too under the new ICBC No Fault insurance program. Things get even more contentious when you consider the proliferation of e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-skates – all of which are crowding the streets in response to rising gas prices. Then there are good ol’ fashioned pedestrians. Considering the cost to fuel a tank, that once unimaginable 30-minute walk to work has become the primary mode of commuting for many. This makes crosswalk zones even more hazardous, especially during weather with low visibility. View our guide to safer driving around cyclists and how to be more aware of pedestrians too.
More Catalytic Converter and Fuel Theft
Last year, there were a record number of catalytic converter thefts in BC. Catalytic converters (when well-maintained) improve the efficiency of your gas-powered car, which directly impacts its overall health and performance. During times of inflated gas prices you want your catalytic converter to run smoothly. Knowing the importance of this already “hot” blackmarket item, thieves will be targeting catalytic converters at a record pace in 2022 and beyond. To reduce the risk, follow this guide to preventing break-ins while parked outside of your garage or carport, and this guide to preventing break-ins in an underground lot.
The most logical form of theft at this time, is gasoline theft. In order to steal your gas, a thief would typically damage your vehicle. They may drill holes in the fuel tank or pry open the fuel door. If you notice the smell of gas near your vehicle, see fuel puddled underneath your vehicle or if your fuel gauge is noticeably lower, you may have been a victim of gasoline theft. If that is the case, it’s important not to drive your car to prevent further damage. While minimizing damage is important, preventing it is even better! By following the break-in prevention tips addressed above you will also mitigate the risk of loss due to gasoline theft.
Gas prices are expected to maintain at high levels for the foreseeable future. In response you must to do all that you can to reduce the risk of further cash outflow when it comes to your vehicle. In addition to following the tips above, be sure to get the most comprehensive auto insurance possible. Only then will you have peace of mind that your protected against further financial hardship, no matter what is happening at the pump.