ICBC’s estimator overload

ICBC will be taking on 60 new estimators tasked with conducting appraisals in British Columbia's north.

By CRM staff

Vancouver, B.C. — June 21, 2018 — The scandal-ridden Insurance Company of British Columbia(ICBC) has hired 43 new estimators to oversee repairs performed in Fort St. John and Prince George, with plans to bring on 17 more.

“We understand that British Columbians needing auto repair work have concerns about possible overbilling, and the impact this has on insurance costs,” said the provincial Attorney General David Eby. “That’s why I directed ICBC to increase the number of estimators on the front lines.”

Eby, who has become the cabinet official responsible for bringing the crown corporation back from the brink, famously described the ICBC’s financial situation as a “dumpster fire” shortly after it emerged that it would see a $1.3 billion loss in 2017.

While some repairers may say the decision to hire additional estimators was reached after careful consideration, Eby had initially agreed to hire on additional estimators last November, after the union representing ICBC estimators helped publicize now-debunked claims from a former employee that fraudulent repairs were costing the insurer hundreds-of-millions of dollars. 

“These new hires will provide more guidance and support to body shops, increase governance of ICBC’s material-damage programs, and help strengthen ICBC’s relationships with industry.”

While Eby’s oversight of efforts to restore the public insurer’s financial situation has long been poorly received by some members of the provincial collision community, he now faces criticism from the broader public.

Last week, many British Columbians were scandalized by the news that a woman left paralyzed from the neck down had been denied coverage for her occupational therapist.

The crown corporation says it had estimators conduct more than 2,800 inspections this year, though no information has been released to indicate whether this practice has resulted in any savings.

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