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

Mission will begin reopening process on June 1

Part of Municipal Hall to open, plans in works for Welton Common, RCMP and fire station front desks

Potential for gravel removal this summer in Chilliwack has riled river stewards

Group says no ‘discernible merit’ for gravel mining when balanced off with the environmental damage

New book details 1893 murder in Abbotsford and 2 trials that followed

Farmer John Marshall was found dead on his Sumas Prairie property

Harrison Hot Springs Resort eases in to reopening

Reservations available Friday, May 29

Mission’s outdoor farmer’s market to return on June 6

The market will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday until Oct. 3

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Officials looking for answers after Abbotsford football star found dead in Sask. lake

Saskatchewan Health Authority looking into circumstances surrounding Samwel Uko’s hospital visit

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read