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

Abstract Developments is donating $75,000 to support community programming at The Cridge Centre for the Family. (Courtesy of The Cridge Centre)
Victoria developer builds support for community programs

Abstract Developments donates $75,000 to The Cridge Centre for the Family

SD 62 (Sooke) has announced a COVID-19 exposure at David Cameron Elementary in Colwood. Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Black Press Media File).
COVID-19 exposure at Colwood’s David Cameron Elementary

Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Office vacancy rates are rising in Greater Victoria while the supply of industrial land is shrinking. (Black Press Media File)
Report finds supply of industrial land in Greater Victoria shrinking

Office vacancy rates in Greater Victoria continue to rise

Central Saanich has received funding for a new multi-use pathway that promises to improve access to Butchart Gardens. (Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich receives grant for multi-use pathway to Butchart Gardens

Province funds entirety of $322,800 project through economic recovery grant program

February 17, 2021 - Kaelyn (L) and Costin Campbell are Goldstream News Gazette 2021 Local Heroes.
Pint-sized duo inspires others to be green

Costin and Kaelyn Campbell are this year’s Environmental Heroes

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic oportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from BC Ferries staff

After Dasher made a dash, staff in Comox found her and got her home safe

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read