The NDP has promised to pay ICBC profits from the COVID-19 pandemic back to drivers in the form of a rebate if re-elected.
British Columbia’s Attorney General and NDP candidate David Eby made the announcement on Sunday.
“Unlike the BC Liberals who raided ICBC of $1.2 billion to make their books look better, we have managed ICBC carefully, which allows us to send profits resulting from COVID back to drivers in a rebate cheque at the end of ICBC’s financial year,” says Eby.
Eby says that this rebate would be paid on May 1, 2021, around the same time that a 20% rate reduction is scheduled to take place. The rate reduction was introduced last March as part of legislation aimed to lower ICBC premiums.
“This is a time when every dollar counts for bc families,” he says.
- See also:
Earlier this year, Eby said that ICBC’s financial situation had shown both positive and negative financial impacts since the beginning of the pandemic. And while it was still early at the time, Eby said customers would benefit should ICBC’s net income results perform better than predicted.
An earlier report by ICBC on the impacts of COVID-19 examined a period of about six weeks after the provincial state of emergency was first declared and people were advised to stay home.
It found that over that time, ICBC opened 46% fewer accident claims (including claims for both damages to vehicles and for injuries) compared to the same time last year, with an average weekly reduction of 7,200 claims. This drop in the number of claims amounts to approximately $158 million in savings for ICBC.
The report also found that over 150,000 customers changed their insurance policies by cancelling their policy or lowering their rate class, resulting in a projected $283-million decline in written insurance premiums compared to what would normally be received for that period.
ICBC had also seen a decrease in the value of its investment portfolio due to the unprecedented downturn in the financial markets, putting pressure on its bottom line, said Eby.
With files from Eric Zimmer