By now, you may have heard that car insurance has changed in BC with ICBC's Enhanced Care coverage.
As BC's Most Trusted Insurance Brand*, we're here to help guide you through these changes.
Under the new model, the costs associated with ICBC's previous litigation-based system, like those for lawyers and legal fees, have largely been removed. Those savings are going toward lowering rates and improving benefits, with the aim of making car insurance more affordable in BC. Here's how the changes have impacted British Columbians:
- More affordable insurance rates. On average, drivers are saving 20%, or about $400, on their full ICBC car insurance annual premiums.
- More care and coverage after a crash. All British Columbians now have access to better care and recovery benefits if they're hurt in an accident – regardless of who was responsible for the crash.
Read on to learn more details about the new car insurance model, plus what drivers can expect.
More affordable insurance rates
Why rates are going down
The main component that's causing the drop in rates is how ICBC manages payments for care benefits. The old auto insurance system involved high legal costs, which directly impact the insurance rates you pay. However, with ICBC's Enhanced Care coverage, those costs have largely been removed. Under the new model, ICBC can redirect the money towards improved care and recovery benefits instead of leaving it for the courtroom.
So, you're asking, how much can I save?
Several factors will determine how much you save on your annual Enhanced Care premiums. These include your driving experience, accident history, where you live, the vehicle you drive, and whether you purchase optional coverage in addition to basic insurance.
More care and coverage after a crash
If you're injured in a crash, Enhanced Care coverage will pay for necessary treatments like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic and massage sessions, as well as dental care, counselling, medical equipment, and more.
Under the previous system, insurance covered up to $300,000 of care expenses, but that has now jumped to $7.5 million. Plus, if your injuries are severe or life-changing, ICBC now works with your healthcare provider to ensure you get the care and support you need for as long as you're impacted.
All British Columbians have access to the same benefits now, regardless of who is at fault in the accident, and without the need for legal action.
The changes have simplified the vehicle claims process
Beyond the new care-based coverage, ICBC has also changed how they process vehicle damage claims. All basic insurance policies (otherwise known as your ICBC Basic Autoplan, the mandatory coverage you need for a vehicle in BC) now include Basic Vehicle Damage Coverage. This change simplifies the claims process whether or not you are at fault in the accident. Here's how it works:
- If you're in a crash and not at fault: rather than recovering the cost of repairs from the at-fault driver's insurance policy (like you would in today's system), your own insurance will cover you – and the claim won't impact your premiums.
- If you're at fault in a crash: under the previous system, if you caused a collision, your optional collision coverage paid for the repairs to your vehicle and could impact your future insurance premiums. If you didn't have collision coverage, you were responsible for the repairs.
Ready to renew?
If you’re eligible, you can renew your ICBC Basic Autoplan insurance and your BCAA Optional Car Insurance online at bcaa.com/car. You’re also welcome to call us at 1888.268.2222. Most policies can be renewed by phone, but you’ll need to visit a BCAA Service Location for some transaction types. You can learn more at bcaa.com/car.
*BCAA, in association with CAA, was ranked the #1 Most Trusted Insurance Brand in Canada by the 2022 Gustavson Brand Trust Index