VICTORIA -- The British Columbia government will implement a $5,500 cap on pain and suffering for pay-outs to vehicle accident victims in a move to save $1 billion a year for the province's public auto insurer.

Attorney General David Eby says the settlement limit on those injury claims will not take effect until April 2019, as part of legislation to be introduced by the New Democrat government.

Eby says the changes are part of a series of major adjustments at the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia amid predictions the agency will lose $1.3 billion by the end of this fiscal year.

He says immediate changes introduced today include doubling the amount of money available for care and recovery for accident victims to $300,000.

Eby says the average amount of claims for minor injuries adds up to $30,038 per person, with pain and suffering pay-outs averaging $16,500.

A rate increase was not announced, but increases of $400 or more for motorists are forecast if financial changes are not made.