The B.C. government, alongside ICBC, has announced that driver’s personal vehicle insurance renewal will be moving to an online platform, while the Province also plans to discontinue license plate validation decals moving forward.
The Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth, made the joint announcement with ICBC’s president and CEO Nicolas Jimenez in an effort to improve the convenience of the renewal process.
Farnworth says that ICBC customers renewing policies on or after May 1, 2022, will have the option to complete the process online via a computer, tablet or mobile phone.
With the new online system, customers will be able to renew their insurance up to 44 days ahead of the expiration date, Farnworth said during a press conference on Monday.
This means that online renewals will become available to British Columbians by March 17 of this year.
As part of the online platform, customers will be able to renew policies, update their addresses, find out of they are eligible for discounts as well as change their listed drivers as well as how their vehicle is used.
There will be no time delay and Farnworth says that customers will be insured immediately after a successful online transaction.
Brokers across the province will be reviewing renewals behind the scenes and follow-up with drivers if it is required.
Jimenez noted that every online renewal will be reviewed, specifically by the broker chosen by customers.
“Our broker community, which has been working with British Columbians for decades, will be there to assist with insurance needs whether it is in person, by phone, or online,” Jimenez said, noting that drivers will not be on their own if they need help.
In-person renewal options will still be available to British Columbians as well.
In addition to the shift to online renewals, B.C. is getting rid of the license plate validation decals as well, starting on May 1.
“This change, in conjunction with online renewals, will reduce incidents of theft and misuse and free up police resources which are currently used to investigate these crimes,” said Farnworth.
Farnworth points out that changing technology has reduced the need for decals as police have shifted more to license plate readers that can provide the same information.
As part of the transition, ICBC will be giving police agencies across B.C. a one-time, $1 million grant to help fund automated license plate recognition programs.
“Funding for this investment is offset by removing the manufacturing and distribution of the decals and keeps money in the pockets of British Columbians,” says Farnworth.
Jimenez added that the decision for the decal change came following extensive research and resounding support from law enforcement.
“So along with government and police, we remain very committed to maintaining the very low percentage of uninsured drivers on B.C.’s roads,” added Jimenez.
Last year, the government and ICBC announced a major change to the Enhanced Care policy program in an effort to save B.C. drivers money.