ICBC reports fewer claims and substantial revenue losses during COVID-19 pandemic

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      B.C.'s publicly owned auto-insurance company is feeling fairly severe impacts from the slowing economy.

      The good news is that there's been a $158-million decrease in ICBC claims from March 15 to May 2.

      However, that's more than offset by a $283-million reduction in premium revenue over the same period.

      That's been caused, in part, by 103,712 insurance cancellations. About a fifth of those occurred from April 22 to May 2 when fees were waived for halting coverage.

      In addition, 47,020 new storage policies were bought, up 191 percent from the same period in 2019.

      There were 57,561 rate-class changes, and a 12 percent reduction in renewals from March 15 to May 2.

      ICBC created this infographic to show the effects of COVID-19 on its finances from March 15 to May 2, compared to the previous year's results.

      "As B.C begins its careful restart plan, we also know that over time people will get back in their cars and claims and premium levels will return to more normal levels," ICBC stated in a report released today.

      ICBC's balance sheet has also been negatively affected by investment-income losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

      "When there has been a significant decline in market value below the cost for equity investments, ICBC’s accounting standards require it to record an impairment loss to investment income," the report noted. "Through the last two weeks of March as the 2019/20 fiscal year was closing, ICBC’s investment impairment charges fluctuated by more than a billion dollars.

      "The final impairment cost will be reported as part of ICBC’s 2019/20 financial results and the corporation expects continued volatility through the current 2020/21 fiscal year."