Vancouver, British Columbia — Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Canadians have been driving less, leading to a reduced amount of claims. In response to this reduction, private insurers have returned approximately $280 per driver in auto insurance premium relief. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) ran a survey of members and found that the industry has already returned more than $775 million to auto insurance customers. IBC members are expected to continue to provide relief.
The situation in British Columbia however is different, where the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has not provided any relief to its customers. Specifically those whose driving habits have changed or who are facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.
“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 Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, IBC. “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.”
British Columbians pay more for auto insurance than anyone else in the country. ICBC announced in May that the only consumer relief it would provide its customers would be the elimination of fees associated with cancelling insurance ($30) and allowing drivers to use their car differently without it affecting their premiums.