ICBC unveils new insurance calculator ahead of premium changes this fall

Aug 28 2019, 10:59 am

ICBC has launched a new insurance calculator ahead of the upcoming changes to insurance premiums coming this September.

The biggest change, above all, is the switch to a driver-based system. At-fault crashes will be tied to the driver, rather than the person who owns the vehicle.

“Right now, the system is broken,” Attorney General David Eby said earlier this year. “A driver with no crashes could be paying the same premium as a driver with three at-fault crashes in a year.”

ICBC’s newly-launched tool, which was revealed on Tuesday morning, matches users with a driver-type. which ICBC explains is a driver profile that matches the user’s situation.

“Based on the choices you make about how the car is driven and who driers your car, it will show how the basic premiums will be impacted,” says ICBC’s website.

The tool asks questions such as whether you have a BC Drivers License or not, what area of the province you live, and how often you use the vehicle.

It also asks the user how many years of driving experience they have, their number of at-fault crashes, and how many additional drivers use their car.

“Years of driving experience starts when a driver receives their non-learners license, which can be either their ‘N’ or a full Class 5,” Tyler McGilvery, spokesperson at ICBC tells Daily Hive.

McGilvery says that the Crown Corporation is also changing the way that drivers with their “learners” permit are treated.

“If someone with their learner causes a crash, it doesn’t follow their driving history,” he says. “But, because you’re under supervision, they also won’t get that full driving experience.”

“ICBC’s new tool is an estimation tool,” McGilvery continues. “It gives a premium quote. Calling it a calculator is accurate.”

He tells Daily Hive that the tool also shows the potential impact that adding drivers can have to your existing policy, or simply for those that are entering the renewal period for their insurance.

Changes to “paying off” at-fault crashes

Another major change coming this September is to how drivers will be able to pay off at-fault crashes.

“ICBC allows customers to repay at-fault claims, which is actually very unique — there aren’t a lot of insurance companies that give this option,” says McGilvery.

Customers will still be able to pay off at-fault claims but starting this September, the new rules state that a driver can only pay off a claim under $2,000.

“Paying off claims can kind of mask a driver’s risk to the public,” he explains. “We consulted the public about this in 2018 and the majority of those that voted were in favour of putting a limit on claim repayments.”

McGilvery notes, however, that the cost of the crash doesn’t impact the premiums — it’s about whether there’s an at-fault crash or not. More impact will lie on how recent the crash is, as well, rather than the cost.

“We measure where the crash falls in the timeline,” he says. “More recent crashes will have a greater impact [on a driver’s premium] than older crashes.”

Drivers can find out more information about their insurance policy and their driving history with either a local insurance broker or online on ICBC’s website.