02/28/2018 14:32 EST | Updated 02/28/2018 14:40 EST

Cabinet OK's elimination of minimum finance test for public auto insurer: Eby

VICTORIA — The minister responsible for British Columbia's financially challenged public auto insurer says the government has suspended regulations that had forced the Crown agency to meet minimum financial tests.

David Eby says the provincial cabinet approved the suspension of financial capital test rules to allow the Insurance Corporation of B.C. to appear before the provincial utilities commission and start its plan to restore financial stability.

He says before the rules were changed this week, the corporation was supposed to have enough money in the bank to cover 100 per cent of all its claims, but that amount currently sits at 54 per cent.

Eby says now that the technical changes have been approved, the agency can apply to the utilities commission for approval of rate increases between six and eight per cent that were granted last year on an interim basis.

Earlier this year, the government introduced a series of changes to try to restore the corporation back to financial help, including limiting awards for pain and suffering to $5,500.

Last week's B.C. budget forecast a loss of $1.3 billion at the corporation.