Vehicle damaged in accident in the Castlegar region, October 2020. (Castlegar Fire Department photo)

Vehicle damaged in accident in the Castlegar region, October 2020. (Castlegar Fire Department photo)

ICBC paying out COVID-19 rebates in March, averaging $190

Refunds come from $600 million savings from fewer claims

The Insurance Corp. of B.C. is splitting up $600 million in savings from the COVID-19 drop in travel and accident claims, with refunds averaging $190 for drivers who had active vehicle insurance between April 1 and Sept. 30 of 2020.

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said cheques will go out to qualified policy-holders, with a portion of the rebate for those who had insurance for part of the period. The refund meets a campaign commitment the NDP made last fall when the early election was called, he said.

The pandemic dip in claims and the rebate program do not affect the implementation of ICBC’s new rate structure and claims system, which is expected to lead to an average 20 per cent decline in mandatory and optional vehicle insurance, Farnworth said. The “enhanced care” system takes savings from eliminating court battles over most injury claims, and capping the payouts for “pain and suffering” due to injuries deemed minor.

RELATED: NDP government bails out ICBC with $1 billion transfer

RELATED: ICBC caps pain and suffering awards at $5,500 amid losses

The B.C. government covered a $1 billion deficit for ICBC in its 2019 budget, after the Crown corporation recorded its second deficit that size. The province then moved to expand its Civil Resolution Tribunal to settle most injury disputes out of court, predicting that move would save ICBC $1.5 billion in legal fees, courtroom experts and other related costs.

ICBC reported in May 2020 that it had seen a decrease of 46 per cent in accident and injury claims due to COVID-19 restrictions that caused travel to decrease. It also reported that 100,000 vehicle insurance policies were cancelled.

ICBC now says it has received 35 per cent fewer crash and injury claims than expected last year, with an estimated impact of $720 million in savings. With people reducing or cancelling their insurance, premium revenue is down $120 million compared with what it would normally be.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

The Dease Lake Airport is receiving $11-million in upgrades funded by the province, Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine and mining companies. (British Columbia Aviation Council)
Major upgrades coming to Dease Lake Airport

Airport to receive $11-million from the province, regional district and mining companies

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

A native-to-B.C. wild queen bee (bombus melanopygus for those in the know) feeds on a periwinkle flower. (Submitted/Sarah Johnson, Native Bee Society of BC)
B.C.’s wild bees need messy gardens to survive

The year-long nesting period makes habitat a primary concern for wild bees

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to table budget that’s expected to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Robinson released a fiscal update last December that said the impact of the pandemic on B.C.’s economy was uncertain

Most Read