BRITISH Columbians will soon have the added convenience of renewing their personal ICBC insurance policies online, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General announced on Monday.
Eligible ICBC customers with policies expiring on or after May 1 will have the option to renew their policy using their computer, tablet or mobile device. While May 1 will be the official launch date, customers can renew their insurance up to 44 days earlier, meaning some people will be able to renew online as soon as March 17.
With support from ICBC’s broker network, the new online insurance service will enable customers to renew their current personal auto insurance coverage, change their address, apply for discounts, update the drivers listed on their policy and modify how they use their vehicle. ICBC expects even more online features to be available in the future.
Coinciding with the launch of online auto insurance renewals, May 1 also will mark the last day that B.C. drivers will be required to display a licence plate validation decal to show they have valid insurance. To support this transition, ICBC is making a one-time investment of as much as $1 million to enhance and expand the Automated Licence Plate Recognition program, which helps law enforcement in B.C. detect unlawful, unlicensed and uninsured drivers.
“The online insurance renewal initiative offers British Columbians a more convenient way to renew their ICBC auto insurance,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Working through the RCMP, police agencies in B.C. will be enhancing and expanding the Automated Licence Plate Recognition program that exists today.”
The cost of this investment will be offset by savings related to manufacturing and distributing the decals.
Decal elimination will align B.C. with other Canadian jurisdictions that have successfully removed the decal from circulation, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec and the Northwest Territories.
“We know online insurance renewals are something our customers have been waiting for, and we’re pleased to announce that we’re on track to have this option go live next month,” said Nicolas Jimenez, President and CEO, ICBC. “Online insurance renewals add to the growing number of digital options available to customers, providing greater convenience, choice and flexibility for British Columbians.”
During the pandemic, ICBC has enabled its customers to renew their insurance, make adjustments to their policy and complete other transactions by phone and email. This service will continue, giving customers the opportunity to renew without in-person interaction during the lead-up to online renewals and beyond.
Brokers will continue to offer their expert advice on insurance coverage, whether in person, on the telephone or for online renewals, and will continue to assist ICBC customers with their Autoplan insurance needs.
* ICBC online insurance renewals will be available for customers with personal insurance, with some restrictions.
* Restrictions will include: temporary operation permits; lapsed policies; new insurance policies; mid-term changes; cancellations; joint ownership or multiple owners; leased vehicles; motorcycles; motorhomes (RVs); collector vehicles; and commercial or fleet policies.
* Changes to optional coverages will not be available online and must be completed through a broker, in person or over the phone.