VICTORIA (July 29, 2020) – Jas Johal, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough and BC Liberal Critic for ICBC, introduced legislation this afternoon that would let ICBC provide rebates to drivers due to a reduction in operating costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the past four months, there have been fewer drivers on B.C. roads and, as a result, fewer motor vehicle accidents and claims being made to ICBC, which has led to a surplus for the insurance provider,” said Johal. “This bill will provide the mechanism for these savings to be returned to British Columbians, who deserve a break on their sky-high insurance premiums. This is a common-sense approach that has been undertaken by other jurisdictions and is a simple way for this government to provide some needed support to struggling British Columbians.”
The Insurance Corporation Amendment Act 2020 gives government the ability to reallocate ICBC’s windfall over the pandemic months into rebates for B.C. drivers. ICBC saved $158 million from reduced accidents in the first six weeks of the pandemic and that amount has likely grown since then. Other provinces such as Ontario, where insurance companies have provided $685 million in relief to drivers, have successfully adopted this type of rebate structure. About 70 per cent of Ontario policyholders are receiving some form of relief, with an average savings of $150.
“British Columbians already face some of the highest insurance costs in North America, so it makes sense that they should also see a rebate due to a reduction in claims,” added Johal. “I implore the NDP to get on board with this legislation and do what is right for drivers throughout the province that deserve some relief.”