Located on an island in the Fraser River delta, Richmond is directly south of Vancouver and part of its greater metropolitan area. Home to Vancouver International Airport, Richmond connects through a series of bridges and tunnels. The Metro Vancouver transit system serves the island city, which is the fourth largest in BC and 25thlargest in Canada. Richmond is distinctive for its immigrant population, which comprises 60 percent of all people living in the town.
Car Insurance Costs in Richmond
With the exception of using a bridge or tunnel to get to Richmond, there’s little indication that it is separated from Vancouver, and indeed, the urban factors that raise car insurance costs in Vancouver also affect Richmond. The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia divides the province into insurance territories based on local geography. Thus Richmond drivers face different base car insurance premiums than residents of the interior, reflecting the congestion, crime and claims patterns of busy cities.
Though the provincial car insurance program is administered by the BC government, you can purchase insurance through a broker, of which there are about 900 in the province. Despite the involvement of the provincial government, BC’s public car insurance is not as affordable as many other provinces. Richmond motorists pay the second-highest average rates, behind only Ontario drivers. Average rates in 2013 amounted to $1,163, at which time the ICBC was seeking a rate increase of 5.5 percent.
Factors Affecting Car Insurance Premiums in Richmond
Though the ICBC has a monopoly on auto insurance in the province, the basic workings of car insurance are the same as under other systems, public and private, throughout Canada. To begin with, there is a certain amount of minimum coverage that every vehicle on the road is required to have. This includes $200,000 of third-party insurance, to protect a driver against damages to other drivers and their property. A further $150,000 in accident benefit protection assures medical and rehabilitation costs are covered for the driver and occupants of the vehicle. Both these coverages can be extended through additional insurance endorsements.
How a motorist uses their vehicle also factors into premium costs. A Richmond driver who uses public transit will pay less than another who drives less than 15km each way to work daily. That driver, in turn, pays less than a Richmond resident who drives over 15km into Vancouver to work. Motorists who use their vehicle for business or delivery purposes will also pay more.
The driver’s personal driving record has a big influence on what car insurance premiums will be. Previous accidents, moving violations or insurance claims can all contribute to raised car insurance costs. Finally, the optional insurance features and deductible amounts that a driver chooses will change as these are added and increased, or removed and decreased.