VANCOUVER — British Columbia's public safety minister says an improved online estimator tool will help drivers see how much they'll save under changes coming to the Insurance Corporation of B.C.
Mike Farnworth says the tool allows drivers to estimate their savings once a new model of delivering auto insurance comes into effect at the Crown corporation on May 1.
He says most customers will save an average of 20 per cent or $400 a year and will also be eligible for a one-time refund.
The new insurance model will limit the ability of those hurt in a crash to sue at-fault drivers or the auto insurer, squeezing legal costs out of the system and saving ICBC an estimated $1.5 billion.
Liberal Opposition critic Mike Morris says B.C. drivers are not fooled by the new online tool, which illustrates supposed rate reductions in the future, while the insurance corporation is saving millions now as a result of the pandemic.
Farnworth says the public will hear about one-time rebates due to COVID-19 "very soon," but Morris says until the cheques are in the mail, it's just the NDP "kicking empty promises down the road."
“This is just another example of the John Horgan NDP failing to get people the relief they need," Morris says in a statement.
Farnworth told a news conference Tuesday that he's looked at different options for a COVID-19 rebate and it still needs to go through the cabinet Treasury Board process, but it is coming soon.
Attorney General David Eby called ICBC's financial situation a "dumpster fire" after the NDP took power in 2017 and the government has introduced a series of measures to douse the flames.
The government is calling the new insurance model "enhanced care" and the online estimator tool can be found on ICBC's website.
"For some time, we've been talking about changes at ICBC and how they're going to help make people's auto insurance premiums, and in turn their lives, more affordable," Farnworth says.
"Today, the rubber hits the road."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021.
The Canadian Press