ICBC’s online insurance renewal options will be made permanent

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The ability to renew insurance online was introduced as a temporary measure during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of reducing in-person interactions.

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ICBC’s online insurance renewal options are here to stay.

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Mike Farnworth, British Columbia’s Minister of Public Safety, announced Monday that the Insurance Corp. of BC would make its online insurance renewal options permanent in the spring.

The ability to renew insurance online by email or phone was introduced as a temporary measure during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to reduce in-person interactions.

Permanent online insurance renewal via the ICBC website will now come into effect on May 1, with drivers allowed to renew up to 44 days in advance. Those whose policies expire in May will be able to renew as early as March 17. Renewal will be available via computer, tablet or mobile device. However, those wishing to renew in person can continue to do so.

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Insurance brokers are not excluded from the table.

“Customers will be insured immediately upon successful completion of their online transaction while behind the scenes brokers will review each online renewal for any potential issues and follow up with drivers as necessary,” Farnworth said.

Farnworth also announced that British Columbia will remove license plate validation decals as modern technologies such as license plate readers used by police allow for quick identification and verification of license plates.

“These readers quickly recognize the lettering and numbering on a license plate, allowing agents to obtain the insurance status of vehicles on the road,” he said, adding that ICBC will spend $1 million dollars in grants for the expansion and improvement of the plate. reader technology for British Columbia police forces.

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“As part of the company’s efforts to make life more convenient for customers, ICBC undertook an evaluation of its online service offerings, a process that involved close consultation with brokers representing more than 900 offices in British Columbia and client research methods that included in-depth interviews and quantitative surveys,” said Farnworth.

Farnworth made the announcement Monday at a press conference also attended by Nicolas Jimenez, president and CEO of ICBC.

Monday’s announcement is the latest in pandemic-related actions ICBC has taken since the start of 2020.

In early 2021, the auto insurance agency issued customers a one-time check averaging $190 due to lower crashes and accident claims during the pandemic. These rebates were paid out of $600 million saved by ICBC, following a 35% drop in insurance claims with more people working remotely and fewer people on the roads.

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The checks, due in March 2021, were briefly delayed following a cyberattack at ICBC, although officials said no private information was stolen in the attack.

In the spring of 2021, ICBC also issued more refunds to nearly 4 million customers after ICBC transitioned to an enhanced care model.

The change was expected to save $1.5 billion a year and resulted in lower ICBC insurance premiums — about $400 less for the average driver — and reimbursements of about $150.

This round of refunds was separate from the average 20% savings on premiums drivers got when they renewed their insurance, and also different from the COVID-19 refund checks issued by ICBC to customers in early 2021.

In the summer of 2021, pandemic-related savings continued, after Farnworth again announced that drivers would receive discounts averaging $120 per policy, the result of savings of $350 million. dollars thanks to persistent pandemic driving habits.

About 70% of customers received a rebate between $60 and $200.

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