Victoria, British Columbia – British Columbia’s provincial insurance corporation has come under fire for under-delivering on customer rebates despite the hefty savings accumulated by the corporation in the midst of widespread business lockdowns.
ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, saw a 37 percent drop in claims from the period of April to June. This was the height of the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic which saw many businesses forced to shut their doors.
While many were struggling during this time, ICBC managed to rack up about $329.5 million in savings from claim costs.
On Friday, the Insurance Bureau of Canada, a group representing private insurers in Canada, claimed in a statement that the unofficial stance of the ICBC to refuse to return savings to customers stands in direct contrast to that of private insurers who have managed to return an average of $280 to eligible customers.
“Rather than supporting British Columbians in their time of need, ICBC is balancing its books on the backs of drivers in this province,” said Insurance Bureau vice-president Aaron Sutherland.
“Just next door in Alberta, eligible drivers have received an average of $302 in premium relief in recognition of the fact that claims are down and consumers deserve a share of those savings.”
In an email statement to Black Press Media on Friday, BC’s Attorney General David Eby also addressed the billions in losses incurred by the insurance corporation during the lockdown period and assured that the province is simply being cautious in giving out rebates when a surplus is not yet definite.
“If ICBC does end up with a surplus as a result of the pandemic, combined with money-saving reforms we have already implemented, we have passed a law requiring that surplus must be used to benefit drivers,” said Eby. “It could be through a rebate, a capital build that helps keep future rates low, or some combination of the two.”