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Letters and refunds to begin going out to ICBC customers with incorrect vehicle descriptions

In April, two independent external reviews were requested by ICBC’s Board of Directors to review the issue of incorrect vehicle descriptions.

The external reviews have been completed, 24 million individual optional insurance transactions have been checked and ICBC has been given the go ahead to start mailing letters to optional insurance customers who were financially impacted by an incorrect vehicle description over the last six years. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused our valued customers.

ICBC is completing a final review of all 441,000 letters for customers who either underpaid or overpaid. By August 20, letters, and refunds where applicable, will begin being mailed with the majority sent over the coming weeks.

The average refund for a personal customer is approximately $18 per year. Customers who underpaid are not being asked to reimburse ICBC.

ICBC will also be contacting some customers individually to get more information on their vehicle to ensure their vehicle description is correct. In these cases, information ICBC has from the vehicle manufacturer is limited and more information may be required from the customer for confirmation of their vehicle type.

This is a very complex issue and ICBC is committed to ensuring there is accurate information on vehicle descriptions for all customers prior to launching a new computer system for its insurance business, planned for next year.

To ensure this does not happen again, ICBC has moved to a new system for updating vehicle descriptions which includes new technology which automatically identifies the vehicle’s description using the vehicle identification number (VIN) provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

Significant work has been done to ensure the letters, and refunds where applicable, are correct. At the same time, ICBC has a process in place to handle any individual customer concerns. If a customer has additional information to provide or questions about their letter they can call ICBC at 604-904-8211 in the Lower Mainland or 1-866-506-0030 toll free within B.C. These calls will be made a priority and any issues will be resolved as quickly as possible.

If a customer is not satisfied with the response to their concerns, they can also write to Peter Burns, Q.C., ICBC's Fairness Commissioner. Full details are available on icbc.com.

Media contact:
Adam Grossman