ICBC scraps cancellation and re-plating fees during coronavirus crisis

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ICBC is getting rid of cancellation and re-plating fees for policy holders but is not providing a rebate to drivers.

The public insurer announcing on Thursday plans to waive its $30 policy cancellation fee and $18 re-plating fee for those people who choose to cancel their insurance.

“We know many British Columbians are facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” ICBC CEO Nicolas Jimenez said.

“Businesses are also having to adapt to the situation, with many companies changing their business model to offer delivery services so people can access the food and medical products they need while physical distancing.”

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The changes must be approved by the BC Utilities Commission. Customers will be required to remove the plate from their vehicle while it is not insured and the vehicle must be kept off the road.

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The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has been calling on the province to provide a rebate to drivers.

ICBC will not release crash data but the insurer is seeing a substantial drop off in both claims and crashes due to fewer drivers on the road during the pandemic. Attorney General David Eby is waiting on a report from the insurer about the financial impacts of the crisis on its coffers.

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“While other Canadian auto insurance companies are reducing rates for drivers and saving them about $600 million, the rates imposed by the government-forced ICBC monopoly in B.C. remain unchanged,” Taxpayers Federation B.C. director Kris Sims said.

“Other vehicle insurers in Canada, such as La Capitale in Quebec, are offering 20-per-cent rebates.”

Customers who re-insure after May 29 will be able to re-use their plate. Customers re-insuring prior to that date will be issued a new plate at no charge.

ICBC will also allow fleet vehicle customers to suspend their insurance.

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The public insurer is also allowing drivers to use their vehicles for the delivery of food or medical products and services, without changing their insurance or paying a higher premium. This includes people volunteering to help deliver groceries or other essential supplies.

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People are also encouraged to call their broker about changing their coverage, or about cancelling to ensure they have storage coverage to cover potential break-ins or weather damage.

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