Vehicle traffic volumes in British Columbia were considerably lower than normal throughout much of 2020, and this translated into major payout savings for car insurers.
A new report by HelloSafe, an online insurance comparison platform based in Quebec, estimates car insurance providers in BC, especially ICBC, saved an estimated $913 million in payouts due to a sizeable proportion of the population staying at home due to COVID-19. This includes about $500 million in savings from within Metro Vancouver.
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Overall, the number of car accidents across BC dropped by 28% due to lower traffic, and as a result, the number of car-related claims dropped by 34%.
The payout savings in Metro Vancouver is the third greatest total among all Canadian urban regions, just behind Toronto and Montreal.
The largest car claim decrease on a provincial basis was in Ontario, which dropped by over 35%.
It is estimated car insurance providers in Canada will save up to $6.7 billion in 2020 as a result of the temporary changes in travel demand.
Earlier this month, ICBC announced it is seeking a 15% decrease on basic insurance rates over the next two years. It is timed with the introduction of the insurance corporation’s new Enhanced Care coverage, launching in Spring 2021.