(from the files of Catherine Garrett MyPGNow.com staff)
ICBC customers will receive one-time rebates averaging $190 this spring.
This is part of $600 million saved due to a decrease in crashes and costs during the pandemic.
Since the beginning of the 2020-21 fiscal year, ICBC has had fewer reported collisions and lower claim costs, resulting in higher-than-expected income.
That gain was partly offset by lower premium revenue due to lapsed and canceled insurance policies.
The provincial government says the cheques will be sent out in March and can range between $25 to a maximum of about $400.
The rebate is approximately 19% of the premium customers paid for coverage during the six-month period.
“Our work to make life more affordable for British Columbians includes fulfilling our commitment to take earnings at ICBC that are related to the pandemic and give that money back to people,” said Premier John Horgan.
“Those cheques will be in the mail soon.”
Horgan says this will affect every policy held between April and September 2020 and will include partial or full coverage as well.
The rebate amount will be based on a portion of what they paid for coverage during that period.
Exceptions include customers with short-term, storage, or distance-based policies, whose premiums already reflect lower usage.
The Basic insurance portion of the rebate is subject to approval by the BC Utilities Commission.
“Our top priorities during the pandemic have been, first, the health and safety of our customers, employees, and business partners – and second, making insurance more affordable,” said Nicolas Jimenez, president, and CEO, ICBC.
“It’s the choices that our customers made during an unprecedented time that helped our bottom line, and the vast majority of them will now share in that success, through one of the largest COVID-19 rebates by any insurer in Canada.”
This one-time rebate is separate from the Enhanced Care refunds customers will start to receive in May 2021.
With the product reform made in 2019 and savings from fewer crashes, Horgan says ICBC is in a strong financial position to issue the COVID-19 rebate in addition to providing lower auto insurance rates through Enhanced Care starting in May.
He added ICBC received about 35% fewer crash claims than expected, including fewer injury claims.
This was offset by ICBC taking in lower premium revenue as customers made changes to their insurance policies, held off on getting new ones, or canceled them.
The estimated impact of fewer claims is $720 million, while written premium revenue is down $120 million compared to what would normally be received for the period.