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Changes to Car Insurance in BC

From May 2021, ICBC is making changes that will impact what is covered under ICBC Basic Autoplan (mandatory coverage for all vehicles in BC). The changes will make car insurance more affordable and provide better care and recovery benefits to anyone injured in a crash. In turn, we’ve also updated our BCAA Optional Car Insurance to ensure our customers continue to get great additional coverage and value for whatever comes their way.

As BC’s local insurance experts we’re here to help with all your car insurance needs, including ICBC Autoplan. We’ll make it easy to understand the changes and how it impacts you. When it comes time to renew, simply give us a call at 1.888.268.2222. Plus, before your renewal, you can use ICBC’s online estimator tool to find out how much you could save on your next renewal.

What’s changing under ICBC Basic Autoplan?

More care if you're injured from a crash

Enhanced Care Coverage will provide British Columbians with significantly more care and recovery benefits after a vehicle crash and regardless of who was responsible:

  • If you’re injured in a crash, Enhanced Care Coverage will cover treatments like physiotherapy, chiropractor, dental care, counselling and more.
  • If you’re unable to work due to an injury, you’ll receive up to $100,000 in wage loss coverage.
  • All British Columbians will have access to the same care and recovery benefits and ICBC has removed most legal fees associated with a crash. The benefits of removing legal fees will be passed on to you by lowering your car insurance premiums.

Changes to vehicle damage coverage

If your vehicle is damaged in a crash and you are not at-fault, ICBC’s new Basic Vehicle Damage Coverage will provide up to $200,000 to repair your vehicle. If you are at-fault or partially at-fault in a crash, coverage to repair your vehicle will be available under optional car insurance.

If your vehicle is damaged by a hit and run driver, coverage to repair your vehicle will now be available under optional car insurance and no longer covered under ICBC Basic Autoplan. For more detailed product information check our FAQs.

BCAA Optional Car Insurance

Learn how BCAA Optional Car Insurance has changed under the new car insurance system.

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Extended Third-Party Liability

Under Enhanced Care, all British Columbians will have access to the same care and recovery benefits if you’re injured in a crash, regardless of who was responsible. Extended Third-Party Liability will still be needed in some circumstances and provides coverage beyond your $200,000 ICBC Basic Autoplan limit.

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Collision
Collision

Collision coverage continues to cover your vehicle repairs if you were at-fault or partially at-fault for a crash. It now includes vehicle damage from a hit and run. If you’re not at-fault, ICBC’s new Basic Vehicle Damage will cover your vehicle repairs up to $200,000.

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NEW! Extra Income Coverage

Provides additional wage loss coverage up to $100,000 in excess of your ICBC Basic Autoplan limit.

New BCAA Benefits & Ways to Save

As part of our changes, we've added new coverage benefits and more ways to save.

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Increased BCAA Member Discount

BCAA Members always save 10%, plus an extra 1% for every year you renew BCAA Optional Car Insurance (up to 20%).

Service Guarantee
Claims Free Discount

The longer you’ve been claims free, you could save 10% with our Claims Free Discount.

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FREE Tire Protection

This coverage is now included at no extra cost in all BCAA Optional Car Insurance policies. If your vehicle tire is damaged from potholes or punctures, we’ll cover the cost to repair or replace your tire.

What can drivers expect?

From May 1, 2021

ICBC’s Enhanced Care coverage will automatically take effect on May 1, 2021, for all British Columbians.

Refunds

ICBC will be providing many British Columbians with a one-time, pro-rated refund for the difference between their current ICBC policy and the new, lower-cost Enhanced Care rates for however long your current ICBC policy extends past May 1. Enhanced Care refunds will be issued from mid-May through to July 2021 and will be returned to you based on how you paid for your insurance. You can use ICBC’s estimator tool to find out if your eligible for an Enhanced Care refund.

Additionally, ICBC will be providing eligible customers with a COVID-19 rebate cheque which are expected to be mailed by the end of April.

If you have BCAA Optional Car Insurance, BCAA mailed eligible customers a refund cheque at the end of March for their BCAA Optional Car Insurance policy. 

You don’t need to do anything to receive these refunds from ICBC or BCAA, they will be issued automatically to eligible customers.

Full savings on your next policy renewal

When you renew your ICBC Autoplan policy after May 1, 2021, you will see your full savings from the new, lower-cost Enhanced Care coverage.

If you have BCAA Optional Car Insurance, when you renew your policy after May 1, 2021, you will see your full savings and have the option to review and make changes to your policy to ensure it meets your needs.


How to renew your ICBC car insurance

You can renew your ICBC car insurance by calling BCAA at 1.888.268.2222 – it’s easy! Our expert advisors will take care of all your car insurance needs including any questions you have about ICBC’s new Enhanced Care coverage. If you prefer to visit us in-person, you can book an appointment at your local BCAA Service Location.

More information

For more information on the upcoming changes to car insurance, see the below FAQs. You can also visit icbc.com/enhancedcare.



FAQs

From May 1, 2021, ICBC is moving to a ‘care-based’ insurance model, alternatively known as ‘no-fault’ insurance. This means that in most cases you will no longer need to sue someone that caused a crash for compensation to get the care you need above a coverage allowance. Instead, you will receive essential care to fully recover from your injuries for as long as you need it – there is no limit, plus, there are many other new and extended benefits. For more information, visit icbc.com/enhancedcare.

No. As of May 1, 2021, the benefits and changes Enhanced Care brings will automatically be applied, regardless of when you renew. You will not need to make any changes or adjustments to the coverages on your car insurance policy until your next renewal.

Good news! Under the new Enhanced Care model, ICBC has shared that insurance premiums will reduce on average by 20%, or around $400. Some people will save more, some less – the exact savings you will see will depend on factors such as your coverages, driving history and experience, your vehicle and where and how it’s used. You can also use ICBC’s estimator tool to see how much you’ll save under Enhanced Care.

If you’re driving in BC and another driver crashes into your vehicle, ICBC’s new Basic Vehicle Damage Coverage included in your basic car insurance will cover your repair costs up to $200,000. This will not impact your premiums, because you did not cause the crash.

If you’re responsible or partially responsible for the crash, you will need to cover the costs to repair your vehicle. Purchasing optional collision provided by BCAA or ICBC will provide the protection and coverage required if you are found fully or partially at fault for the crash.

Yes, ICBC will still determine who was responsible for the crash. Drivers who cause the crash will pay higher premiums. If you didn’t cause the crash, your premiums won’t be impacted. The most dangerous driver will still be held accountable and could be sued for compensation if convicted for certain Criminal Code offences (such as impaired driving).

When Enhanced Care coverage takes effect on May 1, 2021, ICBC insurance will cost less. That means many British Columbians will be owed a one-time, pro-rated refund. Your refund amount is the difference between what you paid when you last renewed your current ICBC insurance policy and the new, lower cost of Enhanced Care, for however long your current policy extends past May 1. To find out if you’re eligible for refund, you can use ICBC’s estimator tool.

ICBC will provide all eligible customers with a refund in the same form of payment you paid in your last renewal.

  • If you are on payment plan, your monthly payments will be adjusted.
  • If you paid by credit card, the refund will be issued to the same card you paid with. You will receive a cheque in the mail if it is no longer valid.
  • For all other payment forms, you will receive a cheque in the mail. You can also set up direct deposit on icbc.com to get your refund faster.

Refunds are expected to be issued by ICBC between May through July 2021.

Enhanced Care essentially introduces new coverages and benefits to ICBC Basic Autoplan. You’ll still need to consider optional coverages for extended third party liability, collision and comprehensive protection. Speak with one of our expert advisors to review your options and get the best level of coverage.

To find out more about the car insurance changes in BC, you can visit ICBC’s website at icbc.com/enhancedcare or speak to one of our expert advisors by calling 1.888.268.2222.

We’ve updated our BCAA Optional Car Insurance to ensure it continues to provide additional protection beyond ICBC Basic Autoplan, without overlapping, and added new coverage options and more ways to save. We’ve also adjusted our rates which means most customers will pay less on their next renewal. The changes will automatically take effect on your next renewal after May 1, 2021.

New benefits and ways to save:

  • Increased BCAA Member Discount - BCAA Members now save 10%, plus an extra 1% for each year you renew BCAA Optional Car Insurance (up to 20%)
  • Claims Free Discount – If you’ve been claims free for 10 years or more, you will save 10%.
  • Free Tire Protection - This coverage is now included at no extra cost in all BCAA Optional Car Insurance policies. If your tire is damaged from potholes or puncture, we’ll cover the cost to repair or replace your tire.

New optional coverages:

  • Hit and Run Vehicle Damage - Provides coverage if your vehicle is damaged by a hit and run driver. This coverage used to be included as part of your mandatory ICBC Basic Autoplan but is now an optional coverage.
  • Extra Income Coverage - Provides up to $100,000 in wage loss coverage beyond your ICBC Basic Autoplan limit if you’re injured in an accident and unable to work.

Under Enhanced Care, all British Columbians will have access to the same care and recovery benefits if you’re injured in a crash, regardless of who was responsible. Extended Third-Party Liability will still be needed in some circumstances and will continue to provide coverage beyond your ICBC Basic Autoplan limit of $200,000. It will provide coverage if you:

  • Injure someone or damage their vehicle while driving outside BC
  • Damage another person’s property, other than a vehicle, while driving
  • Damage contents inside another drivers vehicle
  • Increased BCAA Member Discount - BCAA Members now save 10%, plus an extra 1% for each year you renew BCAA Optional Car Insurance (up to 20%).
  • Claims Free Discount – If you’ve been claims free for 10 years or more, you will save 10%.
  • Free Tire Protection - This coverage is now included at no extra cost in all BCAA Optional Car Insurance policies. If your tire is damaged from potholes or puncture, we’ll cover the cost to repair or replace your tire.
  • ‘Preferred Driver Package’ is now called ‘Rental Vehicle Package’ and provides you a rental vehicle (if required) in the event of claim, and insurance coverage while renting a vehicle in Canada or the US. This coverage no longer includes Travel Protection Coverage.
  • ‘Smash and Grab Bundle’ will now appear on your Declaration Page as ‘No Deductible Glass Coverage’ and ‘Personal Property Coverage’. There is no change to coverage, we’ve simply de-bundled the coverage options so you can pick only the coverages that you need.
  • If you previously had collision coverage, you’ll notice a new addition of ‘Hit and Run Vehicle Damage’ coverage, which provides protection if your vehicle is damaged by a hit and run driver. This coverage used to be included as part of your mandatory ICBC Basic Autoplan but is now an optional coverage. To ensure you continue to have protection, this optional coverage has been automatically added to your policy.

BCAA will provide all eligible customers a refund reflecting the changes to our rates from May 1, 2021. You will see the full savings on your next renewal.

If your policy was renewed from February 5, 2021, you may have already seen savings as a result of the changes to BCAA Optional Car Insurance. If your policy renews after May 1, 2021, and you have Extended Third Party Liability on your policy, you will receive a refund cheque in the mail in late March.

The changes on your BCAA Optional Car Insurance will come into effect automatically on your next renewal after May 1, 2021. When you receive your renewal documents in the mail, we recommend reviewing your Declaration Page to make sure your coverage still meets your needs. If you have any questions or need to add or remove coverage, one of our expert advisors would be happy to help by phone at 1.888.268.2222 or you can book an appointment at your local BCAA Service Location.