Cancelled policies to return at old rates, ICBC says; tests to resume July 20

Drivers who reinsure with ICBC after bringing their vehicle out of storage will get the rate that they were being paying before they cancelled, Attorney General David Eby announced Monday.

The Crown auto insurer allowed customers to cancel their insurance policies and insure their vehicles for storage as a way to save money due to the financial disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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But some customers were shocked by the rates they were being charged when they renewed, because ICBC overhauled its rate design effective Sept. 1, 2019.

In some cases, the new rates are substantially higher.

“We recognize that many customers chose to cancel their insurance policies as a result of the historic emergency, something they wouldn’t have ordinarily done,” said ICBC in a statement.

“When customers cancelled their policies, they may not have been fully aware of changes that could affect their pricing when they came back to reinsure.”

ICBC will provide assistance to customers who cancelled due to the pandemic and then reinsured to make sure they were “not at a disadvantage for the balance of their previous policy.”

Surrey resident Reden Gangis was relieved to hear about the change after being hit with a higher rate when reinsuring his vehicle.

“I was expecting to get the same rate or lower,” he said. “They should be more considerate now, since so many people have lost their jobs in the lockdown.”

Meanwhile, new drivers who have been waiting to take their road tests will get that chance starting July 20, Eby said.

Examiners will wear face shields, gloves and medical masks during road tests. Drivers will wear a medical mask that is provided to them.

ICBC usually performs about 20,000 road tests a month, but 55,000 tests have been cancelled since the imposition of physical distancing in March. Drivers whose tests were cancelled will be contacted to reschedule.

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