2021 is shaping up to be a good year so far for saving on car insurance! You may have heard the rumours about the ways that ICBC is helping Canadians in the coming months. We’re breaking it all down for you and offering other tips on car insurance discounts you might not know about.
1. Pandemic Rebate
A spring gift is on the way in the form of a rebate cheque! ICBC is giving out one-time rebate cheques averaging about $190 to people who had car insurance last year. If you had an annual policy between April 1st and September 30th of 2020, then you qualify to receive this helpful one-time payment.
When can you expect the refund? They will be issued from March 15 onwards.
Why was ICBC able to provide these rebates? Fewer cars on the road during the pandemic meant fewer accidents. Therefore, the public insurer is providing a one-time rebate cheque to drivers based on a portion of the coverage they paid for last year.
With it being a difficult year for everyone in the province, British Columbians are sure to appreciate this added relief!
2. Low KM Discount
Can you believe it’s been almost a full year since the pandemic began? Millions of Canadians have made the shift to working from home since Covid hit and may never return to 9-5 days in the office simply because of how company structures have shifted so greatly. Working from home can have its benefits though…like starting the day in your pjs for example, and saving on auto insurance! Did you know that ICBC offers a 10% discount for vehicles that are driven less than 5,000 km in a year? The discount is based on the odometer reading over the previous 12 months. So, if you are no longer using your car for the timely commute to work, it could seriously help you save. However, it’s important to note that only annual policies are eligible for the discount, and motorcycles, as well as collector cars, are not included because most of these vehicle types are not used year-round.
How does ICBC keep track of how often you are using your car? In a year’s time, at your annual renewal, the odometer reading will need to be provided again to determine if the vehicle was driven less than 5,000 km during the year. If eligible, the discount will then be applied at that time to your renewed policy. If the vehicle was driven 5,000 km or more, it will not be eligible for the discount.
If this rate option interests you, speak to your Johnston Meier Insurance advisor about the options for your plan.
3. Optional Rate Decrease
You may have heard that on May 1st, car insurance rates will drop by 15%. We are trying not to get too excited just yet… but this is the biggest drop in ICBC rates in the company’s history! The change came from the province’s shift to a no-fault insurance structure the NDP calls “enhanced care.” The goal of the program is to redirect money from legal costs into the pockets of those injured in accidents. If you have ICBC Optional Third-Party Liability and renewal date of February 1, 2021, or after, you will see some savings attributed to Enhanced Care at that time – even earlier than expected.
ICBC has also launched a new tool which you can use to determine a savings estimate online – all you need is your driver’s licence and licence plate number. So we should all save the date, because automatic auto insurance savings are coming to British Columbians this Spring!
4. Seniors Discount
They say the older you get, the wiser… and the more you save on car insurance. Maybe the end part is something we at the office just say, but it’s true you could save up to 25% off. Are you a senior-only using your car for pleasure (not commuting, delivery or business)? Then you could be saving up to 25% on an annual insurance plan, just by having that bit more life experience! However, keep in mind if you have an at-fault crash, the savings will be reduced, and then eliminated if there’s a second at-fault crash in the same scan period. There are also limits to how often you can drive your car as a senior and still qualify for the discount, so be sure to check with your insurance advisor to find out the regulations and determine your potential savings.
With so many potential savings opportunities, it’s best to consult directly with an insurance advisor to determine how you can benefit directly from these changes and discounts!
For your convenience, at Johnston Meier Insurance, we are available to assist with your insurance needs over the phone or by email. If you are unable to wear a mask please call one of our locations and we will arrange to assist you with one of these alternate options. Talk to one of our qualified advisors today about all of the coverage options available.