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ICBC phone, email renewals to continue, as other COVID-19 measures expire

A task force is looking at how to offer auto insurance renewals online.
A task force is looking at how to offer auto insurance renewals online. Global News

British Columbia drivers will continue to be able to renew insurance policies over the phone or by email as the province still grapples with renewals online.

ICBC announced on Friday customers will be able to work with their brokers to renew insurance without having to go into the brokerage, as the coronovirus crisis continues.

Those who are facing financial hardship and who pay for their insurance each month can still defer payments for up to 90 days with no penalty.

Click to play video 'ICBC coronavirus rate relief coming for drivers?' ICBC coronavirus rate relief coming for drivers?
ICBC coronavirus rate relief coming for drivers?

Drivers will still be able to have the $18 re-plating fee waived, as will the first knowledge-test fee for learner’s licence holders whose licence expired during the pandemic.

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Meanwhile, the public insurer is getting rid of three measures put in place temporarily.

As of Aug. 20, drivers will no longer be able to waive the $30 insurance cancellation charge, suspend fleet vehicle insurance, or allow unlimited deliveries by drivers in non-delivery rate classes.

Click to play video 'ICBC to resume non-commercial road tests July 20' ICBC to resume non-commercial road tests July 20
ICBC to resume non-commercial road tests July 20

Owners of private passenger vehicles continue to have up to six days per month for delivery use. This affects people who started working for food delivery services to make additional money when physical-distancing guidelines began to take hold.

ICBC has also seen historic levels of new policies.

Since April 23, a total of 300,000 new plate policies have been issued for non-fleet customers compared with about 120,000 non-fleet customers who cancelled their policies in the same time period.

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Last week, the BC Liberals introduced legislation that would let ICBC provide rebates to drivers because of a reduction in its operating costs during the pandemic.

“During the past four months, there have been fewer drivers on B.C. roads and, as a result, fewer motor vehicle accidents and claims being made to ICBC, which has led to a surplus for the insurance provider,” Liberal MLA Jas Johal said.

Read more: B.C. moves to eliminate annual replacement of licence-plate decals

“This bill will provide the mechanism for these savings to be returned to British Columbians, who deserve a break on their sky-high insurance premiums. This is a common-sense approach that has been undertaken by other jurisdictions and is a simple way for this government to provide some needed support to struggling British Columbians.”

ICBC saved $158 million from fewer crashes in the first six weeks of the pandemic.

The province had been concerned about further hits during COVID-19 to a Crown corporation already under enormous financial strain, with fears of cancelled policies and a downturn in the stock market.

About 70 per cent of Ontario policyholders are receiving some form of relief from car insurance companies, with an average savings of $150.

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