VICTORIA, B.C.-The NDP government has introduced changes to legislation aimed at cutting ICBC costs by more than a $1 billion a year.

The changes will tackle the public insurer’s skyrocketing legal and administrative costs. Legal fees make up 24 per cent of ICBC’s total annual costs.

If approved, the amendments would simplify the dispute resolution process for cases under $50,000. It would allow for the disputes to be settled in as little as 90 days, instead of stagnating for two to three years in B.C. Supreme Court like they do now. Pain and suffering damages for minor injuries are also going to be limited to $5,500.

The changes will also establish the framework for the first major improvements in accident benefits in more than 25 years. If approved the changes would come into affect next April.