ICBC glitch means refunds for 240,000 overcharged drivers

Cheques could average $162 for B.C. motorists who paid too much optional auto insurance

ICBC will send refunds to 240

ICBC says it accidentally over- or under-charged nearly 600,000 of its optional auto insurance customers and will issue refunds with interest that could average $162 to those who paid too much.

Most motorists aren’t affected by the glitch, which happened because incorrect descriptions were assigned years ago to some vehicles. The error was uncovered last year with ICBC’s move to a new computer system.

About 1.8 per cent of optional insurance customers paid an average of $21 too much per year as a result and 240,000 drivers are owed cumulative refunds stretching back as far as 2008, according to ICBC.

The public auto insurer is updating vehicle descriptions for past years so it can accurately recalculate historic premiums and repay improper charges for the last six years – as far back as its legacy computer system permits.

Another 350,000 customers paid less than they should have by about $34 per year on average but ICBC won’t bill them retroactively.

Affected drivers are to be notified and refund cheques will go out in July.

ICBC expects to pay out $30 to $36 million in refunds plus interest of $3 million, and refunds will average $137 to $162, depending on the final number of incorrect charges that are revised.

It estimates it lost $71 million in underpayments since 2008.

The faulty vehicle descriptions affect only optional insurance, not basic rates.

ICBC’s board is also appointing an outside auditor to review the error.

The error isn’t expected to recur because ICBC’s modernized system will pull the correct description from the vehicle identification numbers, instead of being entered manually by Autoplan agents.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Month-long water quality advisory still in effect for Rupert residents

The City of Prince Rupert recommends those with weakened immune systems boil water prior to use

Jennifer Rice North Coast MLA seeks re-election

Northwest politicians announce intent on elections

Heart of the City – Jason Scherr

Try and Try again - Prince Rupert Seamen Rugby Club

No COVID-19 public exposures in the North Health Region at this time

Northern Health Authority issued a statement on Sept. 17

Tax penalties of 10 per cent to be applied by City if not paid on time

Prince Rupert Property taxes for certain non-residential properties are due by Sept. 30

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read