British Columbia

ICBC to issue 2nd pandemic rebate to drivers

With fewer than expected crash claims, ICBC is returning an average of $120 per policy.

Public insurer say it will return an average of $120 per policy in mid-July to 3 million B.C. drivers

ICBC is issuing a second COVID-19 rebate to policy holders after savings were realized due to the low number of claims during the pandemic. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Drivers in B.C. are getting a second COVID-19 rebate to reflect money saved by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia as a result of so few crash claims over the last months.

The public auto insurer says it will start distributing rebates averaging $120 per policy in mid-July.

The total amount of money being returned is approximately $350 million, distributed among 2.94 million customers. The first COVID-19 rebate totalled $600 million.

B.C.'s minister of public safety says the rebates are a reflection of ICBC's strong financial position.

"We've been clear that any pandemic-related savings against ICBC's bottom line will benefit customers," said Mike Farnworth.

Most customers with an active auto insurance policy from Oct. 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, will be eligible for the rebate, according to ICBC.

The amount is approximately 11 per cent of the premium customers paid for coverage during the six-month period.

Exceptions are customers with short-term, storage or distance-based policies, or whose premiums already reflect lower usage.

ICBC said the expected number of claims dropped 20 per cent between Oct. 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

It also saw a reduction in revenue as customers changed, cancelled or held off getting new insurance.

The rebates will be distributed either through a credit card rebate if that was the method of payment, or by cheque if cash or debit was used. Customers can also sign up for direct deposit.

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