Windshield repairs covered by ICBC are a major portion of glass shops’ business. (Wikimedia Commons)

Windshield shops hit by new ICBC regulations

ICBC rejects claim glass rates haven’t changed in 20 years

An “arbitrary” 14 per cent increase in ICBC’s discount on windshield replacements is pushing auto repair businesses to lay off staff or in some cases even close down, an industry association says.

Automotive Retailers Association president Ken McCormack said Wednesday he has taken the issue up directly with Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby, who have moved aggressively to reduce accident claim costs at ICBC. The association is also lobbying individual MLAs to change legislation.

In addition to raising basic insurance rates by 6.4 per cent, the B.C. government has moved to cap soft tissue injury payouts and targeted body shop costs that ICBC says have risen 30 per cent in the past two years alone.

RELATED: ICBC called financial ‘dumpster fire’

RELATED: ICBC to cap pain and suffering awards

The association says glass shops aren’t the problem, since they haven’t had a significant increase in their windshield replacement rate for 20 years. It estimates that ICBC business accounts for 60 to 70 per cent of glass shops’ business, and glass repairs account for only 8.5 per cent of ICBC’s vehicle repair costs.

ICBC issued a statement calling the suggestion of a 20-year freeze on rates “completely false. ICBC’s last labour rate increase for its top tier glass suppliers (Glass Express) occurred on Jan. 1, 2016.”

Another cost-saving change is the requirement to use the cheapest windshields available. McCormack says that often means ordering from a dealership, with a delay of days, rather than using aftermarket windshields that are in stock.

ICBC cites a steep increase in accident claims, along with soaring legal costs as people hire lawyers to pursue injury payouts. The rise in accidents has been significant in the past two years, after a period of little increase as vehicles and roads become safer with construction and new technology.

The Attorney General’s ministry issued a statement in response, calling the changes to glass pricing “long overdue” ways to reduce its costs. The changes also include increasing the allowances for wheel alignment and alloy wheel repair, and paying for windshield glass moulding only when it is actually replaced.

ICBC says payments for glass repair and replacements have increased by 140 per cent over the last decade, from $40 million in 2008 to $96 million in 2017, as both the number of claims and their average cost have increased.

McCormack said the moulding replacement policy was imposed on repair shops by ICBC to save administration costs.

“They are suggesting the industry is doing something wrong by charging for new mouldings whether or not they are installed,” McCormack said. “But this is something ICBC put in place a decade ago because it wouldn’t or couldn’t discuss rate increases.”

Just Posted

‘Skinny’ houses could alleviate shortage

Proposal made by Smithers and District Chamber of Commerce to add affordable housing.

Chief Wah Tah K’eght leaves a legacy

Chief Wah Tah K’eght (Henry Alfred) from Witset was reported to have passed away on Sunday morning.

Great news for Indigenous youth program in BC

The federal government came through with over $1 million in funding for Indigenous youth program

Any style, any medium, any artist

The 6x6 Smithers Art Gallery fundraiser is taking work from artists of all ages over the next month.

RCMP confirm death of Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Ottawa area residents take stock of tornado rubble as Ford tours the ruins

A tornado on Friday afternoon tore roofs off of homes, overturned cars and felled power lines in the Ottawa community of Dunrobin and in Gatineau, Que.

School, church and old mining site make Heritage BC’s 1st ever ‘watch list”

The list includes sites in need of protection to maintain B.C.’s culture and history

Yowza! Twerk, emoji and facepalm are added to Scrabble dictionary, OK?

Merriam-Webster has announced 300 new words have been added to the spelling game

LGBTQ activists, allies in Victoria counter anti-SOGI protest with rally of their own

Lower Mainland activists plan to protest SOGI on legislature lawn, Sept. 29

Cities make power play for new fiscal order with eye to 2019 federal election

Trudeau ordered Champagne to talk with provinces and territories about ways to “address the timeliness of the flow of funds” to projects.

Trudeau arrives at United Nations, hoping to re-establish Canada on world stage

Trudeau is beginning his day at the opening of the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, where he’s scheduled to deliver brief remarks later this afternoon.

B.C.’s FATSO peanut butter to appear on Dragon’s Den

The Victoria company will be featured on the Sept. 27 episode of the popular show highlighting Canadian businesses

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

Most Read