British Columbia

Cyberattack delays ICBC mailing of COVID-19 rebate cheques to customers

ICBC says that the attack targeted a third-party vendor contracted to provide printing and distribution services, but did not impact ICBC's secure systems.

ICBC says no customer information was obtained in the attack

The auto insurer ICBC says the attack did not affect its secure information systems. (David Horemans/CBC)

A cyberattack has temporarily delayed a mailout of COVID-19 rebate cheques to ICBC customers promised by the B.C. government.

The government-owned auto insurer says the attack targeted a third-party vendor contracted to provide printing and distribution services, but did not impact ICBC's secure systems.

In a release issued Wednesday, ICBC says the vendor holds information about customers including names, addresses, COVID-19 rebate cheque amounts and cheque numbers.

"There is no indication this information was obtained," reads the release.

"Ensuring the safety and security of customers' information is our top priority. We are actively monitoring the situation with the vendor and will work with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia (OIPC) if any information has been obtained."

Drivers refunded from pandemic savings

In February, the province promised B.C. drivers would get a partial refund on their car insurance due to the hundreds of millions ICBC saved during the pandemic.

The average rebate was estimated at $190 per driver, but could be as high as $400 for some.

ICBC had planned to issue cheques to customers starting this week, but put those plans on hold before any cheques could be mailed when it learned of the attack.

ICBC says its optimistic "the delay will be minimal" and is working on issuing cheques in the coming weeks.

Premier John Horgan said the one-time rebate is drawn from net savings of $600 million ICBC saw from April 1 to Sept. 30. As people continue to work from home and socialize less, there have been fewer cars on the road and "a major decrease" in crashes.

The rebates are available to those who held policies during that six-month period, except customers with short-term, storage or distance-based policies "whose premiums already reflect lower usage."

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