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What are the upcoming ICBC changes and what do they mean to me?

 
Effective May 1, 2021, safe drivers can expect to save an average of $400/year on their auto insurance

February 13, 2020    4 minute read

On February 6th, 2020, Premier John Horgan announced sweeping changes to help stop continuing financial losses at ICBC. The proposed changes are aimed at replacing B.C.’s litigation-based insurance model (B.C. was the last province in the country to have it), and passing these savings on to safe drivers.

Here’s what else you can expect from these changes:  

  • Called Enhanced Care coverage, the new ICBC model will go into effect on May 1, 2021 for all British Columbians (subject to approval by the Legislative Assembly). 
  • You can expect to see the full savings benefits in your first annual renewal following May 21, 2021. Customers can also expect a pro-rated refund, if applicable. (If, for example, you have three months left on your current policy as of May 1, 2021, ICBC will give you a refund on the difference between the old rate and the new Enhanced Care coverage rate). 
  • ICBC expects the new model to result in a 20% decrease in rates in the years ahead, due to the fact that many cases can now sidestep litigation. These savings are being passed on to safe drivers in the form of auto insurance savings of $400 a year on average.
  • Enhanced Care coverage is basically a “no-fault” system. That’s where people involved in vehicle crashes no longer need to sue for damages. Instead, they will receive benefits, payments for medical treatment and compensation directly from ICBC and not from suing the other party. 
  • Enhanced Care coverage will replace the accident benefits included in your basic ICBC insurance (the mandatory coverage that all British Columbians who own and drive a motor vehicle in B.C. must purchase).
  • There are exceptions to Enhanced Care coverage. Cases involving court convictions for offences like street racing, impaired driving or other forms of criminal negligence can still go through the court process. 
  • Although it will be known as a “no-fault” system, ICBC will continue to determine fault in crashes so that they can penalize the at-fault driver with higher insurance premiums.
  • Regardless of who is at-fault, everyone involved in a crash will have access to the same medical benefits. If you’re injured in a crash, the new maximum allowance for care and recovery benefits will be at least $7.5 million, according to ICBC. 
  • Compensation amounts will be predetermined by ICBC depending on the type of injury.  

What’s staying the same?

  • Drivers will still be able to choose their deductible levels. 
  • Drivers will still be able purchase additional optional insurance through a private insurance company or through ICBC.

Source: ICBC Enhanced Care Coverage website

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