ACCORDING TO ICBC, total claims costs for the nine-month period of April to December of last year totaled $4.28 billion … that’s an average of just under five hundred million dollars a month ($475,000,000).
So why bring this up you ask?
I, like many others, are rarely seeing our vehicles leave the driveway – in fact if my vehicle is currently being driven more than 50 kilometres a week I’d be surprised!
So what in fact are they offering us?
On March 24 they announced … ICBC is now offering customers the option to defer their monthly insurance payments for up to 90 days with no penalty, to support those facing financial hardship at this time …
Then, finally, ICBC announced they would be …. waiving the $30 cancellation fee and $18 re-plating fee for those people who choose to cancel their insurance during this time …
Seriously – that’s the best they can do?
I, and tens of thousands of other British Columbians are sitting with our vehicles parked most of the time. Crashes in intersections must be down dramatically, hit and runs reduced greatly, multiple vehicle crashes are probably nearly non-existent.
WHY is ICBC not passing those savings on to me, and everyone else?
It’s bad enough that this year I am paying over TWELVE HUNDRED DOLLARS to insure a 2009 Chevy HHR — with NO collision coverage — and that’s after a 43 per cenrt claim rated scale discount!
Also figured into the price gouge, by ICBC, are the following:
1) Annual license fee … $61
2) Road safety including enhanced law enforcement … $10.73
3) Driver and vehicle licensing, vehicle registration, and other services … $39.09 … and last but not least, to add insult to injury, there’s a …
4) Premium tax of 4.4% … $34.76
Just to diverge for a moment, but why am I paying an Annual License fee – as well as Driver and Vehicle Licensing?
Why am I paying for Road Safety – and what the hell is that actually?
AND … why am I paying for Enhanced Law Enforcement, which is basically to pay for police to go out and catch distracted drivers, speeders, and others to enforce other road safety issues.
There is no other jurisdiction in Canada where insurance companies are paying for police enforcement of the law – so why is that something which ICBC, through charges we are obligated to pay, doing this? We already pay for police services through multiple taxes the government skims off of us!
Now back to ICBC, COVID-19, and the millions in savings which ICBC must be piling up at the moment.
What’s available? Is there any benefit to us? Is ICBC passing those savings on to us?
Absolutely not — we’re getting jack shit actually … and there’s no more than what they previously offered, available to us.
Last September, they added a 10 per cent discount for those who drove less than 5,000 kilometres in a year.
Ten Percent? BIG Whoop!
Most people have an average of 20,000 kilometres put on their vehicle in a year – so for driving 75 per cent less, they’re offering 10 percent off the price of insurance.
Again … BIG WHOOP!
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) … member companies (outside of B.C. where ICBC is the only choice for basic Insurance) are offering substantial consumer relief measures. For consumers whose driving habits have changed significantly, IBC member companies are offering reductions in auto insurance premiums to reflect this reduced risk … this could result in $600 million in savings to consumers …
ICBC is savings millions and we as the consumers should be receiving the benefits of those savings … and it should be a hell of a lot more than a paltry 10 per cent.
Come on Minister David Eby … do it now, before the call to do the right thing becomes a clamour that can’t be ignored, and which makes you and your government look like a miserly scrooge.
Alan Forseth is a Kamloops resident and former member of the Reform Party of Canada and the B.C. Reform Party, and a past and current member of the BC Conservative Party. His blog is My Thoughts on Politics and More.