ICBC calls up 45% in week of wintry weather
Calls to insurer surged during last week's snow and freezing rain, with increase in non-driveable claims
Calls to ICBC were up 45 per cent in the second week of February, compared to the same week in 2016:
- Feb. 7-13, 2017: 25,460 calls
- Feb. 5-11, 2016: 17,575 calls
On Monday of last week, ICBC took in more than 5,000 calls to its Dial-A-Claim line, compared to an average day of about 2,800, said spokesperson Sam Corea.
"So we were practically double the number of calls that we get with people having crashes," said Corea.
Most of those calls were coming from the Lower Mainland, where more than half the cars in B.C. are located.
Not every call results in a claim, and many types of claims can be processed online, so the numbers provided are just a snapshot.
'Non-driveable' claims leading to waits
While ICBC says it takes weather forecasts into account and plans staffing accordingly, the surge in severe crashes — where the vehicle isn't driveable — has led to some delays.
At one point, earlier in the winter, there was a week-long backlog at ICBC's central estimating facility in the Lower Mainland, where more severe crashes are sent for assessment, Corea said.
"We've had some wait times sometimes, we're working as fast as we can," said Corea.
There were also delays in transporting those non-driveable vehicles due to heavy snowfall, ICBC said.
"The body shops are busy and the towing companies are busy, so there's been a ripple effect right through the winter," said Corea.
In about 70 per cent of cases, the vehicle can still be driven, he said. Most online claims are processed in two days, which is ICBC's target, said the insurer.
"We just want people to have patience on the road and patience when you call us," said Corea.