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ICBC basic rate application paves way for Enhanced Care savings

ICBC will apply to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, for a significant decrease to basic insurance rates.

With the introduction of ICBC's new Enhanced Care coverage next spring, drivers will save on average 20%, or approximately $400, on their full basic and optional vehicle insurance.

As a key part of these savings, ICBC will apply to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, for a significant decrease to basic insurance rates.

"A new auto-insurance system with more affordable premiums and greater care benefits is on the way for British Columbians," said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

"If approved by the BCUC, this basic insurance rate decrease will be the largest in our province in more than 40 years. British Columbians deserve auto insurance that is affordable and takes care of them when they need it, and this is exactly what Enhanced Care will deliver."

Enhanced Care will make auto insurance in B.C. more affordable, with the goal of keeping it that way. To support this, government has directed that ICBC's basic rate application cover the next two years, which will help provide British Columbians with predictability on the basic insurance rate change through to at least 2023. The basic rate application also sets out how ICBC will begin building a rate stabilization fund to help ensure better rate stability in the future.

"ICBC is committed to more affordable insurance premiums and rate stability for British Columbians now and into the future," said Nicolas Jimenez, president and CEO, ICBC. "The vast majority of British Columbians can expect to start seeing significant savings on their auto insurance in 2021, in addition to Enhanced Care refunds."

ICBC's application is for basic insurance rates only and will seek a 15% decrease, which the vast majority of customers will receive. In addition to the savings put forward in the basic application, ICBC will also reduce its optional third-party liability rates starting Feb. 1, 2021.

This means customers with optional third-party liability coverage with ICBC who renew on or after that date will experience some of the savings from Enhanced Care then.

ICBC does not have to file an application for adjustments to optional insurance, to which changes are made throughout the year in response to market conditions. Most drivers with ICBC basic and optional coverage can expect average savings of 20%, or approximately $400, once Enhanced Care launches on May 1, 2021.

When Enhanced Care takes effect in the spring, millions of British Columbians will receive a one-time, pro-rated refund. It will be calculated using the difference between a driver's current Autoplan coverage and the new, lower-cost Enhanced Care coverage, for the portion of their existing policy that extends past May 1, 2021.

With the vast majority of legal costs being removed from the insurance system, auto insurance will be more affordable. Enhanced Care will also provide British Columbians with significantly improved care and recovery benefits if they are injured in a crash, regardless of fault, with overall benefits of a maximum of at least $7.5 million.

Following months of consultation with health-care and disability advocacy stakeholders, government expects to confirm further details of the care and recovery benefits in early 2021.

Learn More:

ICBC's Enhanced Care coverage: http://icbc.com/2021