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Optional insurance customers to receive refunds

April 13, 2014

As part of the move to a new computer system for our insurance business, ICBC identified less than five per cent of our optional insurance customers have an incorrect description assigned to their vehicle which impacts what they pay for their optional insurance.

Based on analysis to date, ICBC estimates on average 1.8 per cent or 40,000 optional insurance customers per year had an incorrect vehicle description which resulted in an overpayment on their optional insurance. The average overpayment per year was $21. ICBC also estimates on average 2.7 per cent or 58,000 optional insurance customers underpaid on their optional insurance per year. The average underpayment per year was $34.

“We are going to ensure all of our customers who overpaid on their optional insurance over the last six years receive full refunds with interest,” said Mark Blucher, president and CEO. “The modernization of our systems will ensure this doesn’t happen in the future and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused our customers.”

ICBC is working on the five principles outlined by Transportation Minister Todd Stone including:

  • the error will not result in higher premiums;
  • all overpayments will be repaid with interest;
  • customers who were undercharged are not to be billed retroactively;
  • the problem will be fixed; and
  • the board will appoint an outside auditor to review this issue.

ICBC is committed to having this issue resolved within 90 days.

“ICBC’s first responsibility is to our customers,” said Jatinder Rai, chair of ICBC’s board. “The board and management have been working to identify and resolve this complex issue as a priority.”

Updates to vehicle descriptions will be made in the coming months. New technology will use the vehicle identification number (VIN) provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer to automatically capture the vehicle description (make/model/type). Today, this process is done manually.

ICBC is working to update vehicle descriptions for affected customers, including looking back over the last six years to July 1, 2008, to refund customers who paid too much for their optional insurance. Customers who underpaid will not be charged the difference for prior years. ICBC is going as far back as its insurance system is able to accurately recalculate historical premiums for our customers.

WHAT CUSTOMERS NEED TO KNOW

  • The vast majority of our customers (95.5 per cent or approximately 3 million) are not affected.
  • Within 90 days, we will be able to tell you if you’ve paid too much or too little. Work continues to check vehicle descriptions for all customers and determine individual impacts. 
  • In July 2014, letters will be sent to optional insurance customers who have an incorrect vehicle description which resulted in a financial impact. Cheques, including interest, will be sent along with the letters if you paid too much for your optional insurance.
  • If you have paid too little you will not be charged the difference for prior years.
  • We are looking back six years – to July 1, 2008 – to check vehicle descriptions, including the customer’s current insurance policy up until its expiration date. ICBC is going as far back as our legacy insurance computer system is able to accurately recalculate historical premiums for customers.
  • Customers will receive their full entitled refund in July 2014.
  • You do not need to visit your Autoplan Broker as your insurance remains valid. Vehicle descriptions for affected customers will automatically be updated when you renew your insurance, starting in July.
  • Vehicle descriptions apply only to optional insurance and will have no impact on rates.

Media Contact:
Kate Best