Fewer claims and crashes mean drivers will see rebates from ICBC in the near future.
B.C. Government officials said the insurance company will start distributing rebates averaging $120 per policy in mid-July.
“We’ve been clear that any pandemic-related savings against ICBC’s bottom line will benefit customers,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The good news is that ICBC is in a strong financial position to issue a second COVID-19 rebate to customers, putting more money back in the pockets of B.C. drivers.”
The rebates will see a total of $350-million distributed amongst nearly 3-million customers.
Many who have had an active vehicle insurance policy from October 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, will get a cut of the savings. This should come out to about 11% of the premiums customers paid for coverage during this six-month period.
The exact amount each customer will receive will depend on whether a customer has had a policy in place for the full six months, and how much they paid in premiums. Approximately 70% of customers will receive between $60 and $200.
“A customer with several vehicles fully insured with ICBC Basic and Optional insurance may see a higher value COVID-19 rebate, while a customer who has a vehicle with only Basic ICBC coverage or a vehicle that was insured for a portion of the six-month period would see a lower value rebate. For example, a customer who insured a recreational vehicle for one month may see a very low-value COVID-19 rebate of just one or two dollars,” said B.C. Government officials.
Customers who paid via credit card will be issued their COVID-19 rebate through the same card. Those who pay through cash, debit or a payment plan will be given a cheque to the newest address on ICBC’s file.
Exceptions for the rebate policy include customers with short-term, storage or distance-based policies, whose premiums already reflect lower usage.
“The past year and a half has been tough on all British Columbians, but they’ve been doing the right thing – including staying closer to home and driving less because of the pandemic,” said Nicolas Jimenez, president and CEO, ICBC. “Due to lower claims, we’re in a position to support our customers and bring them some extra relief, and that’s just what we’re going to do.”
B.C. Government officials said between October 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, ICBC received about 20% fewer crash claims than expected. During the same timeframe, ICBC saw a reduction in premium revenue as customers made changes to their insurance policies, held off on renewing or cancelling.
The estimated impact of fewer claims is about $450-million, while premium revenue has reduced by $100-million compared to a normal six-month period. This results in a net savings of $350-million to ICBC.