VANCOUVER -- Relief may soon be coming to ICBC customers as the insurer has been given approval from the B.C. Utilities Commission to implement temporary changes during the pandemic.

The measures go into effect on Thursday and will be in place for 60 days, but ICBC can apply for an extension if needed. 

Some of those temporary relief measures to people with basic insurance include:

  • Waiving cancellation charges on non-fleet owners' insurance
  • Allowing fleet customers to suspend basic insurance and get a refund without having to cancel it
  • Allowing customers in some rate classes to use their vehicles to deliver food and medical supplies without being charged extra premiums

ICBC first announced the changes and applied to the BCUC to permit the relief measures on April 16. A news release issued at the time said customers can save $48 with the measures that allow them to cancel their insurance. 

Drivers who choose to suspend their insurance will need to remove the plate from their vehicle while it is not insured and keep the vehicle off the road. Anyone who reinsures on May 30 or after can reuse that same plate.

But for customers reinsuring prior to that date, they'll be give a new plate at no cost. 

"We know many British Columbians are facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Nicolas Jimenez, president and CEO of ICBC in a release when the relief measures were first announced. 

"ICBC is responding to these needs and taking action to ease the burden for everyone during this difficult time." 

For new drivers, there's also a break for those who can’t take the required knowledge or driving tests, and whose licence expires during the pandemic.

Individuals and businesses can also call their broker to change their coverage.

Drivers can also request to defer their payments for up to 90 days with no penalty.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Bhinder Sajan