ICBC dates back to the 60s, similar vintage as BC Hydro and BC Ferries. The centre right govt of the day established all three over a couple of terms. The ferries were dysfunctional in private hands as only the high volume runs to Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast were profitable; no one could make money servicing the small fishing and logging communities. Nothing has changed! In its day ICBC was the pride of BC, providing reasonable rates because of the no profit basis and relatively lean management. But subsequent governments came to treat it and BC Hydro like an ATM, demanding annual royalties that of course required increased premiums. The previous govt in its 16 years of power became highly dependent on these sums to give the appearance of balanced budgets. They also assigned it full responsibility for vehicle registration, road safety programs, driver licensing and testing. This gives it much larger administrative overhead than a standard insurance company. High running costs plus profits siphoned off to general revenue equals trouble. Technically ICBC only has a monopoly on the mandatory third party liability portion of insurance. Fire, theft, collision and other coverages can be provided by other insurers if the vehicle owner wishes. Small comfort as these usually account for only about 25% of annual premiums. I've sought quotes a couple of times over the years and the prices are near identical; ie, not worth the trouble of dealing with two insurers.