ICBC saves on crashes, but investments down amid COVID-19 crisis

The Insurance Corp. of BC has seen 46% fewer accident and injury claims compared to last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the impact on the BC auto insurance company’s bottom line is still unknown.

BC Attorney General David Eby and ICBC president Nicholas Jimenez released a report May 14 showing that 103,000 policies have been cancelled, and 57,000 vehicle owners lowered their coverage or switched to storage insurance as they were parked for the pandemic.

The drop in accident and injury claims during the seven weeks COVID-19 restrictions on travel and commuting have been in place represent a $158 million decrease over the same period last year, Jiminez said. But Eby warned that with ICBC having no capital reserves and $1 billion losses in the past two years, it is too soon to tell what the impact on the corporation will be as its investments take a beating in the world-wide slump.

“What we’re seeing is uncertainty,” Eby said. “It could be terrible, or there could be a significant surplus.”

ICBC’s report on COVID-19 examined a period from March 15 to May 2 after the provincial state of emergency was declared and people were advised to stay home. It found that after the initial public health measures, accident and injury claims fell sharply but have started to rise again.

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