IBC: While private auto insurers have offered premium relief, ICBC has not

IBC: While private auto insurers have offered premium relief, ICBC has not | Insurance Business Canada

IBC: While private auto insurers have offered premium relief, ICBC has not

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has reported that while private auto insurance companies have provided customers with premium relief measures, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has yet to offer any such discounts or reductions.

According to IBC’s data, private auto insurers in Canada have returned an average of about $280 per driver, as driving activity and claims dropped considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic. By comparison, the ICBC has not provided any “meaningful relief” to its customers, the IBC said in a statement.

“ICBC has realized significant savings due to reduced claims and a drop in collisions, but has turned its back on drivers in the province by refusing to provide financial relief to British Columbians,” said IBC Pacific vice-president Aaron Sutherland. “In stark contrast, private insurers across Canada have taken steps to make life easier for their customers during this crisis. It is yet the latest example of the need to end ICBC’s monopoly, and give British Columbians a choice when it comes to car insurance.”

IBC also noted that ICBC announced in May that the only consumer relief it would provide would be the elimination of fees associated with cancelling insurance (equivalent to savings worth $30), and allowing drivers to use their car differently (i.e. making deliveries for work) without affecting their premiums.

However, other insurance companies introduced similar measures long before the pandemic, IBC said. Those other insurers have also offered further relief measures, such as automatic premium adjustment payments and rebate cheques; new stay-at-home amendments; and even encouraging customers to call their insurer to update their driving usage and coverage levels.

On top of adjusting premiums for drivers, private insurers have offered to explore flexible payment options for financially vulnerable customers, and, in some cases, even waived the NSF fees that customers would have to pay if they have insufficient funds to cover their premiums.

“Minister David Eby suggested recently that ‘it’s been a difficult time for British Columbians to remember why we have a public insurer’,” IBC said in a statement. “With ICBC refusing to support drivers in any meaningful way during this crisis, we couldn’t agree more.”