ICBC to waive cancellation fee amid COVID-19 pandemic

ICBC to waive cancellation fee amid COVID-19 pandemic
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ICBC is now waiving the $30 cancellation fee for those wishing to cancel their insurance during the pandemic.

ICBC will be waiving the $30 cancellation fee for those who want to cancel their auto insurance to help ease the financial hardship on customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Customers will also keep their plates to hand in at a later time, instead of handing them in at the time of cancellation. The plates must be removed from the vehicle, and the vehicle must be kept off of the road. If you cancel during this time, you no longer have to pay the $18 to replace your vehicle when reinsuring.

Customers who reinsure May 30 and onward will be able to re-use their plates. Prior to that date, customers will be issued new plates at no charge but will be expected to surrender their previous plates.

ICBC will also allow fleet vehicle customers to suspend their insurance to help them save money during this difficult time.

People whose learner driver’s licences (class 5-8) expire during the pandemic will not have to pay a fee for their first knowledge test after their learner driver’s licence expires, once testing resumes.

As part of the changes, ICBC also says customers will be able to use their vehicles for the delivery of food or medical products and services, without changing their insurance vehicle use or paying a higher premium. This includes people volunteering to help deliver groceries or other essential supplies to seniors and other people in need.

“We know many British Columbians are facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Nicolas Jimenez, president and CEO of ICBC. “Businesses are also having to adapt to the situation, with many companies changing their business model to offer delivery services so people can access the food and medical products they need while physical distancing. ICBC is responding to these needs and taking action to ease the burden for everyone during this difficult time.”

Customers are encouraged to call their broker about changing their coverage and lowering their premium to reflect changes in how much they drive and the related risk. This is available to both personal and commercial customers.

Customers who are interested in cancelling their insurance are encouraged to speak to their broker to make sure they have appropriate storage coverage for their vehicle while it remains not in use.

“These changes will provide some relief to customers during this challenging time, and brokers are there to assist British Columbians in adapting their insurance to meet their changing needs,” said Chuck Byrne, Insurance Brokers Association of B.C.

The changes to cancellation fees, suspension of fleet vehicle insurance and the allowance of deliveries by drivers in non-delivery rate classes are in effect upon approval from the BC Utilities Commission. ICBC has submitted an application to the BCUC and an interim decision is expected shortly.

ICBC has already made several other changes amid the pandemic, like moving numerous transactions such as license and insurance renewals, to over the phone or email.

Customers are also now able to defer their monthly insurance payments for up to 90 days with no penalty.

ICBC says it continues to review its operations and will make additional changes as necessary.

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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