Savings and refunds
Enhanced Care will make auto insurance in B.C. more affordable. Customers with full ICBC basic and optional coverage can now save on average 20 per cent on their annual premiums. You may also be eligible for a refund for however long your current policy extends past May 1, 2021.
See your Enhanced Care savings
Estimate what your next renewal will cost and, if eligible, see your Enhanced Care refund.
How much will I save on my insurance?
The average annual insurance premium for full ICBC basic and optional coverage for B.C. drivers was approximately $1,900 in 2020. Enhanced Care brings that average annual premium down to about $1,500.
This means B.C. drivers will save 20 per cent on average, or about $400, on their ICBC insurance. Find out what your own Enhanced Care savings will be through our estimator tool.
Enhanced Care takes most legal costs out of B.C.’s insurance system – and passes those savings on to you through more affordable and stable rates. In previous years, legal costs were one of the major factors driving rate increases.
When will I see the savings on my insurance?
Enhanced Care coverage will automatically take effect on May 1, 2021, for all British Columbians.
You don’t need to do anything. You will see your full Enhanced Care savings on your next annual renewal after May 1, 2021.
Many British Columbians are also eligible for a one-time, pro-rated refund for the difference between their current insurance policy and the new, lower-cost Enhanced Care rates for whatever length of time remains on their current insurance policy beyond May 1, 2021.
What are Enhanced Care refunds?
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.
How will my refund be determined?
Your refund amount is the difference between what you paid when you last renewed your current insurance policy and the new, lower cost of Enhanced Care, for however long your current policy extends past May 1.
For example, if you renewed your annual policy on January 1, 2021, you have eight months remaining on your current policy as of May 1. We will be refunding you the difference between what you paid and the new, lower premium of Enhanced Care, for those eight months.
How and when will I get my refund? Do I need to apply?
Refunds for the vast majority of eligible customers will be issued from mid-May through to July and will be returned to you based on how you paid for your insurance. You do not need to apply or do anything to receive it. All eligible customers will receive a letter with the details of how their refund was calculated.
If you paid for your insurance through the ICBC payment plan, the refund will be in the form of adjustments to your monthly payments, which will now be lower.
If you paid by credit card, the refund will be issued to the card you paid with. If your credit card has expired, you will receive a cheque.
If you signed up for direct deposit and are eligible, you’ll receive your refund directly into your bank account.
Otherwise, you will receive a cheque in the mail.
If you’re a joint owner, organization, or fleet customer, your refund will be issued by cheque or reduced payment plan only.
Lease your vehicle? Your cheque may include the name of your leasing company, as they are considered the registered owner of your vehicle. If your leasing company is named on the cheque, you will need to contact them to have them sign the back of the cheque. If your leasing company is not named on the cheque, no signature is needed. Contact your leasing company if you have questions.
Has your mailing address recently changed? If so, to avoid any issues receiving your refund cheque, please make sure your address with ICBC is up-to-date. Find out how to change your address.
When will I get my refund?
With millions of Enhanced Care refunds to issue, it will take some time for all refunds to be sent to customers.
Below is a general timeline of the order in which we are issuing refunds, starting from mid-May.
For payment plan customers, the adjustments to your monthly payments will start on the first payment date after May 24. For example, if your payment is normally taken on the 15th of every month, your adjustments will start as of June 15. But if your payment is due to be taken on May 25, your adjustments will start as of that date. Whenever you receive your new adjusted rate, you can rest assured your refund amount will be spread out evenly over your remaining payments.
What factors affect how much I save?
Just like how your premiums were determined before, your savings under Enhanced Care will depend on a variety of factors, including:
whether you purchased basic insurance only, or basic and optional third-party liability insurance from ICBC
how much optional third-party liability coverage you purchased
if you had any at-fault crashes since you last renewed
the driving experience of you and your listed drivers – including crash history and driving convictions
where you live, the type of vehicle you drive, and where and how you use your vehicle.
With millions of unique drivers in B.C., savings will vary. On average, customers will save 20 per cent on their full basic and optional coverage with ICBC which translates into average savings of $400 - but some will save more or less than the average dollar savings. For example:
Young or inexperienced drivers – For years, these drivers paid higher premiums due to their increased risk of causing a crash, and, in turn, being sued. Enhanced Care removes most legal costs from the system, meaning higher-than-average savings for many young or inexperienced drivers.
Motorcyclists, seasonal vehicles, or drivers in many rural areas – Those who drive seasonal vehicles like motorcycles and trailers, or who live in more rural areas of B.C., will see lower-than-average dollar savings. This is because auto insurance is already less expensive for these individuals.
Why is third-party liability coverage such a big factor in my savings?
One of the biggest factors that affect your savings is whether you purchase optional third-party liability coverage, and what limit of coverage you purchase. Previously, approximately 85 per cent of customers would purchase this coverage to cover themselves in the unfortunate scenario they injure someone in a crash or cause someone a financial loss and that person starts a lawsuit against them, claiming compensation for things like pain and suffering and future wage loss.
Under Enhanced Care, everyone’s care needs and financial losses are paid directly from their own ICBC coverage, rather than through lawsuits and settlements. Optional third-party liability coverage is still important, as it protects you when you drive out of province, for example, and damage someone’s vehicle or cause injury to someone. It also protects you if you cause non-vehicle damage in B.C. – for example, if you hit a building, fence or other property. But it is now much cheaper because it doesn’t have to cover the expensive costs involved in a litigation-based system, like before. And if you usually purchase one of the higher limits of optional third-party liability coverage – $3 million or $5 million – you will likely see higher-than-average Enhanced Care savings.
How long will the savings last?
Enhanced Care makes auto insurance in B.C. more affordable and our aim is to keep it that way.
For many years now, rates have had to continually go up to cover the rising claims and legal costs associated with a litigation-based insurance system. By taking most legal costs out of the system, we are able to bring rates down and will work to keep them down.
Our regulator, the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC), has approved on an interim basis a 15 per cent decrease in basic insurance rates – our largest basic rate decrease in more than 40 years. These rates will cover two years, rather than the typical one year, to help provide stability with basic insurance until at least 2023.
We’ve also lowered rates for optional third-party liability coverage, along with collision and comprehensive coverages.
We have also begun building a rate stabilization fund, a kind of “rainy day” fund which, with approval from the BCUC, we can draw from in the future to help mitigate future volatility of insurance rates.
Is the Enhanced Care refund different from the COVID-19 rebate?
Yes. The COVID-19 rebate was for customers who had an active policy from April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020. Because ICBC has seen fewer crashes and lower claim costs due to the pandemic, we wanted to share the savings with British Columbians. Cheques for the COVID-19 rebate were sent out starting in early April 2021. Find out more about the COVID-19 rebate.