BC Liberals: No rebate from ICBC despite fewer accidents

THE BC Liberals said on Tuesday that B.C. drivers — who they say pay the most expensive auto insurance rates in Canada — are not fooled by the NDP’s new online estimator tool that will supposedly illustrate ICBC rate reductions, while the insurance corporation continues to reap hundreds of millions of dollars in savings as a direct result of the pandemic.

“We are seeing ICBC save millions of dollars from a much lower accident rate on the road because of the pandemic, and yet drivers haven’t seen a penny in discounts,” said MLA Mike Morris, Opposition Critic for Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Year after year, drivers have seen their rates skyrocket under the NDP, and any claim that drivers will see future savings is just plain nonsense.”

In the spring, ICBC released a report declaring 46 per cent fewer accident claims compared to the same time last year. This translates into savings of approximately $158 million in just the first few months of 2020. Meanwhile, the NDP has continued to jack rates up from $1,364 in 2017 to a shocking $1,900 in 2020, said the BC Liberals.

“What the government should be doing is issuing drivers a one-time rebate cheque as a direct result of fewer accidents on the road because of the pandemic,” Morris said. “This is just another example of the John Horgan NDP failing to get people the relief they need. So until drivers actually see a cheque in the mail, it’s just the NDP once again kicking empty promises down the road.”

The Insurance Bureau of Canada announced in June that insurers in the rest of Canada have provided an average return of $280 per driver due to savings of $778 million nationwide. The story is different in British Columbia, where ICBC has not provided meaningful relief to its customers whose driving habits have changed or who are facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.