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

(B.C. Government photo)
POLL QUESTION: Are you in favour of B.C.’s three-week ban on in-restaurant dining?

Dr. Bonnie Henry called the three week stoppage a “circuit breaker”

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Theatre manager Sophie L’Homme is ecstatic to share the news that Tofino’s aging Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre is finally getting upgrades. (Nora O’Malley photo)
BC Arts grant funding breathes new life into Tofino’s community theatre

“Once it’s done, it’s going to be a pride of the town.”

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

Pickleball is a favourite recreation for older adults on the West Coast. (Westerly file photo)
Pacific Rim Hospice releases older adult survey report

One key theme unearthed during the research process was the need for companionship

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read