ICBC waiving fees for drivers temporarily suspending insurance during pandemic
VANCOUVER -- If your vehicle’s been sitting idle and you want to save money on insurance, ICBC and the province are making changes to make that easier and less costly.
The public insurer announced Thursday it will waive cancellation and re-plating fees for both individuals and businesses who want to suspend their insurance while restrictions telling people to stay close to home are in effect.
A news release says customers can save $48 with these measures, and must be approved by the BC Utilities Commission. Companies that have a fleet are now also eligible for the program, and will be refunded any premiums they’ve pre-paid.
Kris Sims with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the changes announced today, are a good step, albeit overdue. She says a reduction in insurance rates is what will really help.
“This is the least that they can do, we really need to see actual rate changes and rate reductions, now,” she told CTV News.
At this time, there are fewer cars on the road and fewer crashes. Two weeks ago, the Attorney General directed ICBC to look into what impact that was having on the bottom line and if a rate reduction would be in order.
Sims points out, other jurisdictions have already acted.
“In other parts of Canada those insurance providers are already sending cheques in the mail or they’ve already sent them direct deposit.”
With many restaurants offering delivery, personal vehicles can now be used to pick-up and drop-off orders. Before, special insurance was required, depending on how often the vehicle would be used for providing the service.
For new drivers, there’s also a break for new drivers who can’t take the required knowledge or driving tests, and whose license expires during the pandemic.
Individuals and businesses can also call their broker to change their coverage.
Others can choose to defer their payments for up to 90 days with no penalty.
The Attorney General has also ordered the corporation to publicly report on how lower rates of driving, and crashes, are impacting the bottom line. That review was ordered earlier this month.
In addition, the BC government claims on average, drivers will save up to 20 per cent once the insurance system is revamped to what many refer to as a “no-fault” offering. That is expected to take effect next year.