British Columbia

ICBC to start ranking collision, auto glass shops in effort to save cash

ICBC is planning to introduce a new public ranking system for the province's collision and auto glass shops, in an effort to save the insurer money.

ICBC's new system will be based on tiered rankings, once required data has been collected

ICBC will begin publicly ranking the province's roughly 1,000 collision and auto glass shops in an effort to improve efficiency and cut down on repair costs. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

ICBC is planning to introduce a new public ranking system for the province's collision and auto glass shops, in an effort to cut down on repair costs.

The changes, announced Monday, will begin Feb. 3 for collision repair shops, and Mar. 2 for glass shops, though the public won't be able to see how repair shops are ranked until ICBC has collected the required data.

"I believe for the industry's perspective, there's going to be growing pains, certainly, but we need grow — that's a good thing," said Adrian Scovell, president and CEO of Automotive Retailers Association, which represents shops responsible for more than 80 per cent of the business for which ICBC pays.

"ICBC will save money. It's a good program for them," said Scovell, explaining that the shops that get top rankings will be the shops that are more efficient.

He said the ranking will be based on three tiers, with the top tier capable of doing work on high-end, complicated vehicles like BMWs and Range Rovers, that require standards in line with the original manufacturers.

Scovell said the shops that land in the lowest tier will hopefully be encouraged by the public ranking to improve their operations and do better work.

Sabi Bains, director of material damage and special investigations at ICBC, said most shops will likely fall into the second tier, and it's possible the top tier will have many of the shops that do high-end work, but not necessarily.

"All shops could qualify for tier one," said Bains. "It could be the small local shops, but the run a very efficient business, they're good with their customer satisfaction scores, good with their efficiency scores, so there's a number of key elements that are in there."

She said it will be up to the customers to decide where they take their vehicles, and tier two shops will still be good shops.

Bains said the public rankings won't be available for several months, but they will be posted before the end of 2020.

"The redesign of the collision and glass repair programs will improve transparency and accountability of repair shops for drivers who get into accidents and need to choose which repair shop they go to," said Attorney General David Eby in a written statement.

According to Eby, the added competition — as shops vy for better rankings — will "help curb some of the rising claims costs and pressures that ICBC is facing."

This is the latest change to the insurer in the last couple of years as Eby tries to improve the crown corporation's dire financial situation. In Jan. 2018, Eby referred to the state of ICBC as a "dumpster fire," when it was announced the insurer was facing a $1.3 billion loss.

According to Eby's ministry, efforts to turn the financial outlook at ICBC around include improvements to road safety, high-friction pavement, and limits to minor injury payments.


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About the Author

Rafferty Baker is a video journalist with CBC News, based in Vancouver. You can find his stories on CBC Radio, television, and online at cbc.ca/bc.

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