“Due to lower claims, we’re in a position to support our customers and bring them some extra relief”
ICBC announced on Friday that it will issue a second COVID-19 rebate in recognition of lower claims costs due to fewer crashes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve been clear that any pandemic-related savings against ICBC’s bottom line will benefit customers,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The good news is that ICBC is in a strong financial position to issue a second COVID-19 rebate to customers, putting more money back in the pockets of B.C. drivers.”
ICBC will start distributing rebates averaging $120 per policy in mid-July, returning approximately $350 million in additional rebates to 2.94 million customers. This builds on the first COVID-19 rebate of $600 million for a total of $950 million.
Most customers who had an active auto insurance policy from October 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, will be eligible for the rebate. Exceptions include customers with short-term, storage or distance-based policies, whose premiums already reflect lower usage. The rebate is approximately 11% of the premium customers paid for coverage during this six-month period.
“The past year and a half has been tough on all British Columbians, but they’ve been doing the right thing – including staying closer to home and driving less because of the pandemic,” said Nicolas Jimenez, President and CEO, ICBC. “Due to lower claims, we’re in a position to support our customers and bring them some extra relief, and that’s just what we’re going to do.”
ICBC received about 20% fewer crash claims than expected between October 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, but also saw a reduction in premium revenue as customers made changes to their insurance policies, held off on getting new ones or cancelled them.
The estimated impact of fewer claims is $450 million, while written premium revenue is down $100 million compared to what would normally be received for the period, resulting in net underwriting savings of about $350 million.
Rebate amounts will vary between customers, depending on whether they had a vehicle insured for the full six months and how much they paid in premiums during that time. Roughly 70% of customers will get a rebate between $60 and $200.
A customer with several vehicles fully insured with ICBC Basic and Optional insurance may see a higher value COVID-19 rebate, while a customer who has a vehicle with only Basic ICBC coverage or a vehicle that was insured for a portion of the six-month period would see a lower value rebate. For example, a customer who insured a recreational vehicle for one month may see a very low-value COVID-19 rebate of just one or two dollars.
Unlike the first COVID-19 rebate, which ICBC issued by cheque and mailed to customers, the second COVID-19 rebate will be distributed based partly on how customers paid for their insurance policy.
Customers who used a credit card will have their COVID-19 rebate returned to the card they used. Customers who paid by cash, debit or Autoplan payment plan will be mailed a cheque to the latest address on file with ICBC. Customers can update their address online: icbc.com (https://icbc.com)
If a customer signs up for direct deposit by June 30, 2021, ICBC will deposit the rebate into their bank account.