Compromise often bypass mediocrity to reach demise
Time flies – it was almost a year ago, in the February 23, 2018 edition of the Marketplace that I wrote “Fiddling while the ICBC is burning”. It was about ICBC and was prompted by AG David Eby’s revelation that upon taking over his portfolio he had found ICBC to be like a “burning dumpster” and warning that saving ICBC will be costly. Wisely and bravely Eby kept at it by announcing scary financial numbers to make us aware of the issues.
By now, the “target [us] has been softened”and we are made ready to fork out an increase of 6.3% to ICBC premiums. And that is understood – we must pay it, for it is the penalty we have invited by relaxing our citizenship duty to watch the politicians and to stop them sending the ICBC into a dumpster and setting it on fire. This may be the silver lining to this very dark cloud and pray we become jolted to do our duty, to assert control of “our” government.
We cannot really dump ICBC. Hence we must change it into what it was meant to be, a servant of the people. We must make it “dumpster fireproof”, so to speak. In the February 23, 2018 article I focused on healing ICBC to serve us better in the future. I suggested a very simple, fair, and mighty potent plan, as follows:
“Split the cost of auto insurance premium into three components: Place part of it on the vehicle (plates); part on the driver (driver’s licence) and part on the fuel (gas and diesel).”
The rationale for that is, I think, irrefutable.
By now we know some of the remedies Eby has planned for healing ICBC and boosting its potency to pull us into future. His compound prescription, in his words reads: a) “Low Kilometer Discount”) “Unlisted Driver Protection”; and c) Driver based Insurance”, (as distinct fom “Vehicle Based”). These in addition to the familiar premium on the vehicle plates.
Let’s look at these closely, for the labels are a tad obfuscated: The first is really a “premium on the fuel”. The second and the third are premiums on a driver’s licence. Together with the retention of the premium on the car plates, they have hues of addressing the concern of the February 2018 article. This is encouraging.
Eby’s prescription would change ICBC for the better in the short term. Hard to say how short the term would be but it is certain that it would not be forever. It is piling complexity on bureaucracy making dickering with it tantalizing. Because of its complexity it will be botched, both inadvertently and intentionally – it is in the nature of things – and this sooner or later will send ICBC to the dump and set it aflame to burn to ashes.
Einstein illuminated the notion of simplicity by pointing to that we (the right-handed of us) use the left hand to scratch the left ear. Apportioning the ICBC premium into three vehicle (plates); the driver (driver’s licence) and the fuel (gas and diesel) is very simple, highly equitable, a hard to botch plan.
“Half-measures” are perilous. Usually they are inadequate and often fail. And worse, the failure of the compromised and complex plan, will make these concepts appear impotent, and ICBC adversaries will label them: “tried and failed”, thereby dismissing these good tools.
Then what about the Lawyers? Eby is going to introduce some form of no fault insurance, this being highly commendable and appreciated. For it will fend off auto-accident victims and indeed ICBC as well, from the Lawyers.
In my article of January 11, 2019 I suggested topping no fault insurance with a ban on Lawyers chasing ambulances to lure cases with “no down payment and no payments till we get ICBC to pay”, or as they call it cryptically “contingency payment”.
To his credit Eby has revealed that half of the money ICBC bleeds goes to the Lawyers. Must we believe that the injured people deserve half of what ICBC pays out? Or must we believe the Lawyers telling us, or implying, that in their absence ICBC would strip the suffering victims of more than half of their entitlement? Let’s come to our senses.
I appeal to Eby to open the ICBC future to public input, to tap the creative minds of the society, in the open. To let people see the ideas of their brethren and scrutinize them for the optimum to surface. A process free to unfold on an open stage without a blackhole funneling our contributions to “consensus manufacturers”.