ICBC to mail out $38 million in refunds for overcharges

Management knew of errors on auto insurance rates since 2009, hid problem from board: Auditors

ICBC is preparing to mail out 309,000 refund cheques ranging from $1 to $350 to optional auto insurance customers it overcharged since 2008.

Wrong rates were used because of incorrect descriptions assigned years ago to many vehicles that are only now being fixed.

The average customer who overpaid all six years will get a refund of around $108, ICBC spokesman Adam Grossman said. The cheques will begin to go out around Aug. 20.

The average overpayment was $18 per year.

The refunds plus interest being paid total nearly $38 million.

Nearly 370,000 other motorists were undercharged because of the glitches.

ICBC won’t go after them for the $53 million in lost revenue.

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

The refunds were calculated as part of two independent external reviews that checked millions of insurance transactions over the past six years.

Auditors who examined ICBC’s handling of the issue concluded ICBC knew the problem was systemic as early as 2009 but management hid it from ICBC’s board of directors until mid-2013.

Various fixes were contemplated but discarded, according to the auditors’ report.

ICBC managers feared a solution might harm its relationship with brokers and that disclosure of inaccurate pricing would hurt ICBC’s business position against optional insurance competitors.

The corporation ultimately opted to fix the errors and issue refunds as part of its sweeping $400-million technology upgrade program.

The long-running overcharges were finally made public in April by Transportation Minister Todd Stone – only after he was directly questioned by the media.

ICBC’s board had intended to wait until it had a refund strategy ready to roll out.

Customers renewing their auto insurance since July have been required to update their vehicle’s descriptions, Grossman said.

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

COVID-19: Uptick in calls to Haven Society crisis line as restrictions ease

Organization reminds people of their range of services

ICET provides Qualicum Beach with $250K for East Village project

Town expects revitalization plan to attract more developments

COVID-19: Garage sales should follow mass gathering guidelines

City has received variety of queries on the issue

Parksville’s ‘Support Local’ parade celebrates businesses

Approximately 30 vehicles turn out for event

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read