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

Recycling services in Queen Charlotte, Port Clements expanding next week

Residential plastics will be accepted again, but most residential transfer stations remain closed

‘At least they’re safe:’ Arrival of new Syrian refugee family to Haida Gwaii delayed due to COVID-19

Operation Refugees says family stuck in Lebanon with no flights, ‘but at least they’re safe’

‘Good news:’ Council of the Haida Nation releases guidelines for expanding social circles

Next steps also say outdoor spaces such as parks, playgrounds, trails may be reopening for day use

Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay wins ‘Most Outstanding School’ award

B.C. School Sports will present school with banner, add GTN to plaque as winners of 2019-2020 year

‘A time of transition:’ CHN looking to release next steps of pandemic response this week

State of local emergency is in effect; Gaagwiis says CHN developing indicators to guide next steps

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Most Read