Driving Less but Not Paying Less: ICBC Refuses to Pass Savings to BC Drivers

May 14, 2020 (VANCOUVER) – Today, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) announced that it will not be offering any meaningful relief to drivers. Despite reporting a 46% reduction in claims and $158 million in reduced claims costs in just six weeks (March 15 – May 2) due to COVID-19, none of those savings will be passed on to ICBC customers.

If ICBC will not provide financial relief to drivers in this province, its time to give British Columbians the ability to shop around and find an insurer that will.

In other provinces, private insurers are expecting to return up to $600 million to their customers over a 90 day period in recognition of the fact that individuals are driving less, and their premiums should reflect that. Relief measures vary by company and include automatic premium adjustment payments, new “stay at home” amendments, or by encouraging customers to call their insurer to change their driving usage and coverage levels. These savings are on top of other support private auto insurers are offering to their customers, including deferred premium payments, waived nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees, and allowing flexible payment options for those facing economic hardship.

In defending ICBC’s refusal to support British Columbians at this time, Attorney General David Eby suggested the government is unable to determine the total impact COVID-19 will have on ICBC’s finances and that the crown corporation has seen a decrease in the value of its investment portfolio. However, every insurer in the country is facing these same challenges, and that has not stopped them from supporting their customers in their time of need.

“ICBC has benefited financially from a reduction in claims during the pandemic. Unfortunately, it is more focused on its own bottom line than providing financial support to British Columbians during their time of need,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “While private insurers across Canada have taken steps to provide financial relief to their customers during this crisis, ICBC is turning their back on drivers in this province.”

British Columbians pay more for auto insurance than anyone else in the country. Last month, Minister Daivd Eby suggested that “it’s been a difficult time for British Columbians to remember why we have a public insurer”. With ICBC refusing to support drivers in any meaningful way during this crisis, we couldn’t agree more.

For more information visit betterautoinsurancebc.ca.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 128,000 Canadians, pays $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @IBC_Pacific or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.