Drivers to get COVID-19 ICBC rebate cheques averaging $190 next month | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Drivers to get COVID-19 ICBC rebate cheques averaging $190 next month

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
February 02, 2021 - 2:25 PM

Premier John Horgan says drivers in British Columbia will receive COVID-19 insurance rebate cheques next month that average about $190 each.

Horgan says the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia will return $600 million in net savings to policy holders because there have been fewer collisions and claims during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, who is the minister responsible for ICBC, says the rebate cheques will go to drivers who held policies last year from April 1 to Sept. 30, and they will range from a low of $50 to up to $400.

Horgan says the rebate cheques are separate from ICBC savings that are due in May, when drivers will see a drop in rates of about 20 per cent or around $400 each.

Those rate cuts are part of the government's move to a so-called enhanced care model that limits lawsuits and increases treatment benefits for people injured in accidents.

Farnworth says almost three million drivers will receive rebate cheques from the Crown corporation.

The B.C. Liberal opposition says the rebate falls falls far short of what insurers in other jurisdictions throughout the country have provided, where drivers have seen an average of $280 in savings.

“Although this is welcome news for drivers, it should have happened months ago and it’s confusing why it will take another six weeks to deliver," opposition critic MLA Mike Morris says in a media release.

READ MORE: ICBC tool provides drivers with estimate on car insurance savings

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is also urging the province to do more to help drivers save on their car insurance.

“It’s not fair for the B.C. government to have waited this long to give B.C. drivers their own money back,” said Kris Sims, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, in the news release. “ICBC is trying to use the money it saved during an unprecedented economic crisis to douse its dumpster fire.”

The federation is calling for the B.C. government to open ICBC up to competition so that drivers can choose their own insurance in order and save money.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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