Saturday, May 1, 2021, marks the start of a new era for ICBC as the corporation launches Enhanced Care coverage and transitions to a new care-based model.
Enhanced Care is a redesigned approach to auto insurance that brings historic savings on auto insurance premiums, significantly improved care, and recovery and wage-loss benefits for people injured in crashes.
“Under Enhanced Care, millions of people will breathe easier – both at renewal time and if they’re injured in a crash,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “This is the culmination of significant work by government and ICBC, in consultation with a wide spectrum of stakeholders and experts, to secure a sustainable, affordable and care-centred future for public auto insurance in British Columbia.”
Customers who buy full basic and optional insurance from ICBC for a policy effective on or after May 1 will save 20%, on average, compared with last year’s premiums. Because ICBC customers are able to renew their insurance 45 days before their expiry date, thousands have already renewed under Enhanced Care, with average savings of more than $400.
“Delivering more affordable auto insurance has been a core principle of these changes from Day 1 and British Columbians are now starting to see the results of that commitment,” said Nicolas Jimenez, president and CEO of ICBC. “Some customers have already renewed under Enhanced Care, or benefited from a significant decrease in the costs of our optional third-party liability coverage earlier this year.”
Autoplan brokers throughout the province have been trained on all Enhanced Care coverage changes. Brokers are ready to help customers understand their savings, as well as new and altered coverage options to help ensure that British Columbians get the protection they need.
Many ICBC customers are also eligible to receive a one-time refund based on the portion of their current policy that extends past May 1. These Enhanced Care refunds will be issued starting later in May.
As a care-based insurance system, Enhanced Care takes its name from a suite of Enhanced Accident Benefits now set in provincial regulations. Anyone injured in a crash in B.C. starting May 1 – whether they are a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian – will have access to a full spectrum of care, counselling and financial supports related to their needs and those of their dependants, and will continue to choose their own doctor and care team to guide their recovery.
“Our team of recovery specialists is ready and feeling positive about being able to provide better care benefits and support to any British Columbian who is injured in a crash,” said Nathan Acker, operations manager, recovery and benefit services at ICBC. “As someone who comes from a clinical and health-care background, I know how important these changes are and how these benefits will assist our customers in achieving their recovery outcomes, regardless of whether they were responsible for the crash or not.”
To ensure the value and effectiveness of the Enhanced Accident Benefits, government and ICBC worked closely with a wide range of health-care providers, disability advocates and other stakeholders last year.
That included advice provided by the Injury Recovery Design Panel: a diverse group of disability community representatives, health professionals and others with extensive experience in the field, chaired by Jane Dyson, a former long-time executive director of Disability Alliance BC.
“ICBC has also consulted with people with lived experience who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents and accessed supports under the current system,” Dyson said. “ICBC listened carefully and made important changes to the insurance model because of this feedback. I feel confident Enhanced Care will provide significantly improved benefits and supports to people injured in motor vehicle accidents.”
Enhanced Care will be in effect May 1 at midnight.
See the results of more than 50 engagement and consultation meetings, and how they helped to develop and inform the final benefits and amounts, detailed here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/organizational-structure/crown-corporations/enhanced-care-coverage-summary-report.pdf
Details of insurance premium savings: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0066-002038
Details of Enhanced Accident Benefits: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021PSSG0021-000400