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As of May 1, 2021, ICBC's new Enhanced Care coverage comes into effect which introduces significant changes to BC's auto insurance system. At CapriCMW, we're here to help you understand the changes and how they affect you.
Under Enhanced Care, drivers that have both basic and optional coverage with ICBC will see, on average, savings of 20% or around $400 on their annual premiums.
You can now estimate your savings with Enhanced Care here.
The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) has approved a 15% decrease to basic insurance rates for policies effective May 1, 2021, the largest ICBC basic rate decrease in 40 years.
Drivers will start seeing savings on ICBC optional third-party liability rates beginning on February 1, 2021. The amount saved will vary by individual. Most drivers who purchase higher limits of optional third-party liability coverage ($3 million or $5 million) can expect to see savings that are higher than average upon renewal.
Please note, there may be limited or no savings in premiums for vehicles being operated primarily outside of BC (including long-haul vehicles and out-of-province buses) as the drivers may still be sued under the auto insurance system of another province or territory.
Private insurers that provide optional auto insurance in BC are also responding and adopting their rates. Some offer multi-policy discounts for your home, multiple vehicles, etc. Talk to one of our Insurance Advisors about your options.
Factors Affecting Premiums
Premiums will still be calculated based on:
- Driving experience of listed drivers
- Driver crash history
- Where the driver lives
- How the vehicle is used
Pro-rated Refund and COVID-19 Rebate
In addition to the basic and optional rate reductions, drivers with existing ICBC policies that expire after May 1, 2021 will receive a one-time, pro-rated refund. The refund amount will be the difference in premium between the existing policy and the new, lower rates with Enhanced Care. Each individual's refund will depend on the renewal date and the number of months remaining on the current insurance policy that extends beyond May 1. Most refunds will be issued between mid-May and July 2021 and delivered through the same method you use to pay your premiums.
ICBC has also announced it will be returning net savings of $600 million that resulted from major decreases in accidents and costs as the COVID-19 pandemic spread. Most drivers that had active policies between April 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020 will receive one-time rebates averaging $190, approximately 19% of the premiums paid during the applicable six-month period. Cheques will be mailed out starting mid-March.
Keeping Rates Affordable
ICBC will not be filing for another basic rate change for two years. Additionally, the creation of a rate stabilization fund will help rebuild ICBC's depleted capital in order to absorb future pressures on insurance rates.
Next, in Part 3 of this blog series, we will explain the changes to the way vehicle damage claims are processed under Enhanced Care. Follow us on social media to stay informed on the upcoming ICBC changes:
Questions? Find a CapriCMW office and get in touch with one of our experienced, knowledgeable Client Advisors. Be sure to keep us updated with your current phone number, email and direct deposit information.
UPDATED: February 17, 2021