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

COVID-19 case confirmed at Highstreet Walmart in Abbotsford

Fraser Health sends out letter to those who might have had contact with individual

Racism wasn’t dealt with properly by school, says Chilliwack graduate

Woman tells story of being verbally assaulted at school for being black

Stray dog with duct tape around muzzle spotted in Abbotsford

Pooch has been spotted over two days, but has escaped capture so far

Call for support of Black Lives Matter movement in Mission

Over 200 signs hung around city showing solidarity with victims of police brutality

Investigators comb through Chilliwack house following standoff

RCMP say investigation involves report of an early morning shooting

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

VIDEO: Pitt Meadows dentist gets grand welcome home after two-month COVID-19 battle

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read