The cheque is in the mail

ICBC begins refunding overcharged customers today

Customers of ICBC who were overcharged for vehicle insurance since 2008 can expect to find a reimbursement cheque in the mail.

Letters and refund cheques begin going out today (Aug. 20) to ICBC optional insurance customers with incorrect vehicle descriptions.

The letters will be sent to the 441,000 customers who either overpaid or underpaid, the latter of which will not be billed for the error, as promised by Transportation Minister Todd Stone.

Stone had responded to media in April that he was “angry” to learn about the massive mistake that totals about $38 million in overcharges, and another $53 million in undercharges that lost revenue for the Crown corporation.

Since April, two independent external reviews requested by ICBC’s directors checked 24 million individual optional insurance transactions and examined the impacts of incorrect vehicle descriptions. Now that those are completed, ICBC will begin refunding customers who were financially impacted by an incorrect vehicle description during the past six years.

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused our valued customers,” states an ICBC release.

The average refund for a personal customer is approximately $18 per year, so over the six years, results in an average cheque of $108. Customers who underpaid will be sent a letter only.

Some customers will also be contacted individually to get more information on their vehicle to ensure its description is correct, in cases where ICBC’s information gained from the vehicle manufacturer is limited.

ICBC also indicates the issue is “very complex” and that it is committed to ensuring accurate information is on file for all customers’ vehicle descriptions prior to launching a new computer system it has planned for next year.

Meanwhile, a new system for updating vehicle descriptions has now been installed with updated technology that automatically identifies the vehicle’s description using the vehicle identification number provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

While ICBC says “significant work” has been done to ensure the letters and all applicable refunds are correct, there is a process in place to handle individual customer concerns.

If a customer has additional information to provide or questions about their letter they can call ICBC toll-free at 1-866-506-0030, which pledges their issues will be resolved on a priority basis as quickly as possible.

If a customer is not satisfied with the response to their concerns, they can also write to ICBC Fairness Commissioner Peter Burns, Q.C. More information is online