ICBC has updated its online tool to provide customers an estimate of how much they will save when they renew their vehicle insurance under Enhanced Care and how much they will get in a refund from ICBC.
The insurance estimator – at icbc.com/enhancedcare – will help personal customers understand what the upcoming premium savings will mean to them. When Enhanced Care comes into effect May 1, 2021, customers who purchase basic and optional insurance from ICBC will save 20 per cent on average, according to Victoria. Most customers will also be eligible for a one-time, pro-rated refund.
“Our government is set to deliver much more affordable ICBC premiums, and now drivers can see how much they’re going to save and how much of a refund they can expect after May 1,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “In just minutes, drivers will be able to get an estimate of how much less they’ll be paying for auto insurance going forward.”
To use the tool, a customer needs only to log in with their B.C. driver’s licence and licence plate numbers. Customers can view and adjust coverage options, and calculate an estimate for their upcoming renewal. The tool will compare what they paid last time and approximately how much they will save under Enhanced Care. If a customer is within 45 days of their renewal date, they can save the information to review it with an Autoplan broker when it is time to renew and pay.
For eligible customers, the tool will display a refund amount of the difference between their current Autoplan coverage and the new, lower-cost Enhanced Care coverage. The refund amount depends on the customer’s renewal date and how much of their current policy extends beyond May 1, 2021.
The Liberal opposition, however, is not quite enamoured with the new rate calculator and claims ICBC is hoarding an unexpected windfall.
“We are seeing ICBC save millions of dollars from a much lower accident rate on the road because of the pandemic, and yet drivers haven’t seen a penny in discounts,” said MLA Mike Morris, Opposition Critic for Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Year after year, drivers have seen their rates skyrocket under the NDP, and any claim that drivers will see future savings is just plain nonsense.”
In the spring, ICBC released a report declaring 46 per cent fewer accident claims compared to the same time last year. This translates into savings of approximately $158 million in just the first few months of 2020, said Morris, claiming the NDP has continued to jack rates up from $1,364 in 2017 to $1,900 in 2020.
“What the government should be doing is issuing drivers a one-time rebate cheque as a direct result of fewer accidents on the road because of the pandemic,” Morris said. “This is just another example of the John Horgan NDP failing to get people the relief they need. So until drivers actually see a cheque in the mail, it’s just the NDP once again kicking empty promises down the road.”