B.C. Attorney General David Eby announces changes to ICBC rate structure to respond to deficits, Feb. 6, 2020. (B.C. government)

ICBC saves on crashes, but investments down due to COVID-19

Too early to tell if savings will result in reduction, David Eby says

The Insurance Corp. of B.C. has seen 46 per cent fewer accident and injury claims compared to last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the impact on the B.C. auto insurance company’s bottom line is still unknown.

Attorney General David Eby and ICBC president Nicholas Jimenez released a report May 14 showing that 103,000 policies have been cancelled, and 57,000 vehicle owners lowered their coverage or switched to storage insurance as they were parked for the pandemic.

The drop in accident and injury claims during the seven weeks COVID-19 restrictions on travel and commuting have been in place represent a $158 million decrease over the same period last year, Jiminez said. But Eby warned that with ICBC having no capital reserves and $1 billion losses in the past two years, it is too soon to tell what the impact on the corporation will be as its investments take a beating in the world-wide slump.

“What we’re seeing is uncertainty,” Eby said. “It could be terrible, or there could be a significant surplus.”

ICBC’s report on COVID-19 examined a period from March 15 to May 2 after the provincial state of emergency was declared and people were advised to stay home. It found that after the initial public health measures, accident and injury claims fell sharply but have started to rise again.

RELATED: ‘Fault matters,’ Horgan says as BC takes disputes out of court

RELATED: ICBC surpluses should be ‘hands off’ to politicians, Eby says

Eby said amendments that were not passed as the B.C. legislature shut down due to COVID-19 are expected to be approved when it sits again, likely in June. That will prevent any future government from diverting ICBC surpluses if and when they return.

“ICBC has seen a decrease in the value of its investment portfolio due to the unprecedented downturn in financial markets, putting pressure on the bottom line,” the report found. “Some of this has already been seen at the end of ICBC’s 2019-20 fiscal year, and early indications suggest the impact could exceed $1 billion in 2020-21, depending on the length and scope of the global market downturn.”

Early in the pandemic, ICBC announced a 90-day deferral of payments and waived cancellation and re-plating fees for people taking vehicles off the road due to restrictions on business and personal travel. The cancellation and waiving of plate fees has saved customers around $5 million, Jiminez said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusICBC

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

Just Posted

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

One of the unsung heroes that make Clearwater tick

“She is a networker and she knows how to build a great team.”

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Cariboo, North Thompson region

Prince George, Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House all under watch

Community Foundation wants charities to apply for emergency funding

The $350 million emergency funding was created to help vulnerable populations during COVID-19

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Most Read