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.

Just Posted

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Darrell Holland is running for council in Fraser Lake

Holland has worked within the sawmill as an industrial electrician for 15 years

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Retired RCMP officer Kim Watt-Senner in the running for Fraser Lake council

Watt-Senner spent 19 years with the RCMP and also owns a business in Fraser Lake

John Murphy is running for re-election in Vanderhoof

The Vanderhoof councillor wants to work on housing and transportation

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Just 7% of Northern B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

Most Read