Frequently Asked Questions
How do experience and crash history affect what I pay?
Since September 1, 2019, driving experience and crash history have had an increased impact on your auto insurance. In general, the more crashes you cause, the more you will pay in insurance. The more years of driving experience you accumulate, the more discounts you’ll earn.
We will also ask that you list who drives your car so they can be noted on your policy. Household members, employees and regular drivers should be listed if they’re going to use your car. If a learner will be driving your car, a new additional premium will also apply.
Why do I need to list other drivers?
Under the old model, at-fault crashes followed the vehicle owner, rather than the driver. For example, if your friend borrowed your vehicle and caused a crash, the claim applied to your record, not theirs, even though you didn’t cause the crash.
Now, at-fault crashes will follow the driver, not the vehicle owner. So if your friend causes a crash using your vehicle, the claim is counted on their driving record, not yours.
Listing those who drive your car helps to make sure the right person is held accountable for the crash. Therefore the risk involved in insuring your car is more accurately assessed.
How do the listed drivers impact my premium?
Adding drivers won’t necessarily increase your premium. It will depend on various factors, such as each listed driver’s experience and crash history.
The majority (75%) of your Basic insurance premium will be based on the principal driver (the person who will drive the vehicle the most). Of the other listed drivers, the one with the highest level of risk will make up the remaining 25%.
However, if the listed driver is lower-risk than the principal driver, there will only be a reduction in the premium if that listed driver is a household member or employee. This will help prevent people from adding lower-risk drivers to their policies simply to artificially reduce their premiums.
What if I want to be able to lend my car to anyone?
If you would like the flexibility to be able to lend your car occasionally to a driver not listed on your policy, Unlisted Driver Protection can provide peace of mind. This new protection allows for unanticipated drivers to drive your vehicle occasionally. Occasional use is defined as up to 12 days in a year, per driver. If you don’t have Unlisted Driver Protection, you could face a one-time financial consequence if that driver causes a crash in your car. This will depend on the driving experience and crash history of the unlisted driver.
Anyone who has caused a crash in any of your vehicles in the last five years (from September 1, 2019) and unlicensed drivers are also excluded from this protection.
However, Unlisted Driver Protection will not protect you from this financial consequence if any of the following people cause a crash in your car, as they should be listed on your policy:
- Household members
- Anyone who has driven any of your vehicles for more than 12 days in the last 12 months
*If an unlisted driver causes a crash in your car, Unlisted Driver Protection will then cost $50 annually (one fee, not per driver) and will increase if there are more crashes by unlisted drivers.
What if an unlisted driver causes a crash in my car?
If you don’t have Unlisted Driver Protection or if it doesn’t apply (for example, the unlisted driver is a household member), you may face a one-time financial consequence.
There may be exemptions for extraordinary situations, such as when an unlisted driver uses your vehicle for a medical emergency. Mechanics and valets who may drive your car are covered by their own policy.
Although the Unlisted Driver Protection won’t need to be purchased, once an unlisted driver causes a crash in your car, this protection will cost $50 annually. If there are more crashes by unlisted drivers using your car, the cost of the protection will increase.
Should I list learner drivers? How does that impact my premium?
Yes, if a learner driver will be using your car, you should list them and a new additional premium will apply. The learner premium recognizes the risk that a learner driver represents and helps cover the costs of crashes caused by learners. The learner premium will range from $130 to $230 per year, depending on where you live. You don’t need to pay the premium for each learner – it is one cost to cover all learners using your car.
For learner drivers, time spent in the learner stage will not count towards their driving experience, and crashes caused by learners will not go on their driving record either. We don’t want to penalize learners if they were to cause a crash while they are learning to drive.
Is ICBC changing the seniors’ or disability discounts?
There are no changes to the current discount for qualifying persons with disabilities.
Seniors will continue to receive a Basic insurance discount and will now benefit from more years of driving experience being considered – up to 40 years from the current nine years of crash-free driving. However, their discount will be reduced if they cause a crash and eliminated if they cause a second crash within the ten-year scan period.
Is ICBC making any changes to the way premiums are set for Optional insurance coverages?
Yes, ICBC is introducing changes to make premiums for Optional coverages align with the changes being made to the Basic rate model to make sure drivers are held more accountable for their driving decisions.
As of September 1, 2019, frequent or serious driving convictions will be factored into your premiums for both Collision and Extended Third Party Liability coverages:
- Two or more convictions for minor offences (such as failure to stop at a stop sign or speeding) or one serious offence (distracted driving, impaired driving or excessive speeding) within a three-year period, will result in an increase in premiums for these coverages.
- Convictions resulting from driving violations that occurred from June 10, 2019 will have the potential to impact a customer’s Optional premium starting September 1, 2019. Those premiums will increase with the frequency and seriousness of the convictions. ICBC will ultimately scan back over a three-year period for driving convictions by June 10, 2022.
- The goal is to benefit lower-risk drivers – those who don’t cause crashes or get driving convictions.
What’s a driver factor?
Every driver in B.C. will have a driver factor – a 3 decimal number that represents your driving experience and crash history. The driver factor will also take into consideration whether you’re a senior or a new resident. The driver factor baseline is 1.000 with a lower number being more favourable. As you gain driving experience, and for each year that you remain crash-free, your driver factor will improve.
A driver factor report will be available for you to download closer to September 1, 2019.
Are there any other Vehicle Discounts?
ICBC has introduced two vehicle-related discounts:
Vehicles with original, manufacturer-installed autonomous emergency braking will be recognized with a 10 per cent discount.
Vehicles that are driven less than 5,000 km in a year will be eligible for a 10 per cent discount.
What is autonomous emergency braking?
Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is a safety feature that uses technology to anticipate when a vehicle is about to have a front-end collision and automatically engages the brakes without the driver’s action.
If you’re not sure whether your vehicle has AEB, check with your dealership or look in your ownership manual.
I just moved here from another province. What do I need to do to register and insure my car?
If you move here with a vehicle (or if you’re a returning B.C. resident), you need to register, license and insure the vehicle within 30 days of arriving. If you’re driving a commercial motor vehicle, it must be registered, licensed and insured in B.C. immediately.
Passenger vehicles and most other vehicles will need to pass a mechanical safety inspection at a B.C. designated inspection facility before they can be registered, licensed and insured. These facilities are listed at th.gov.bc.ca/cvse.
When your vehicle has passed the inspection, take the vehicle, the inspection report and the Vehicle Registration to one of our offices to register, license and insure it. You’ll need to hand in your out-of-province plates. Make sure you bring valid primary ID and one piece of secondary ID. (Go to icbc.com/acceptedID to confirm acceptable ID)
If you’re importing a vehicle into B.C. from the United States, you’ll need to contact the Registrar of Imported Vehicles at 1-888-848-8240 or visit riv.ca.
The Motor Vehicle Safety Act and Regulations require that all vehicles imported into Canada must comply with the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Please contact Transport Canada, Road Safety and Motor Vehicle Regulation Directorate at 1-800-333-0371 for further information or visit Motor Vehicle Safety website to make sure your vehicle meets Canadian standards.
Do I need to pay tax when I register my vehicle in B.C.?
When you register your vehicle you will need to complete a Transfer/Tax form (APV9T) which is available at any Autoplan broker. Provincial sales tax (PST) is payable at the time of registration, unless an exemption applies. If you are a new resident to B.C. and you bring a vehicle into the province solely for non-business use, the vehicle is exempt from PST provided that:
- the vehicle arrives in B.C. within one year of you becoming a resident of the province, and
- you owned the vehicle for at least 30 days before you became a resident of B.C.
Customers who don’t qualify for the settler’s effects exemption must pay PST on either
- the vehicle’s depreciated value, or
- 50 per cent of its purchase price whichever amount is greater.
We have a vehicle owner that passed away and we need to do an Estate Transfer. What do I require to complete it?
We are sorry to hear that you lost a loved one. Here are some tips to assist you through this difficult time. We can help you transfer the ownership of the vehicle and, if you prefer, cancel the policy as well.
Depending on your situation, here are some of the documents we may need to transfer the vehicle’s ownership:
- The original or a certified copy of each of the documents in the Checklist for Estate Transfers.
- A fully completed Transfer/Tax Form. (You can pick up a blank form at one of our offices.) Due to COVID-19, the Transfer/Tax Form (APV9T) is temporarily available for download; please note that original signatures are still required.
- The current vehicle registration (usually kept in the glove box).
- It’s also important to cancel their driver’s licence.
I only have a few belongings; can I just insure up to $10,000 for contents?
Almost all insurers have a minimum requirement of $30,000 for contents. However, belongings can add up fast. Did you include cookware, linens, furniture, clothing etc? For condo owners, contents can also include appliances. Make sure you have it all covered.
Do you offer monthly payments?
Yes, most of our insurers will offer a monthly payment plan, however financing rates do vary depending on the insurer. We also have access to financing companies you can work with to finance insurance premiums. As well, you can pay monthly if you get your home insurance with Apply + Buy, our online home insurance product.
Can I pay monthly with a credit card?
Most insurers do not allow monthly payment by credit card, however you can pay monthly using your credit card if you get your home insurance with Apply + Buy, our online home insurance product.
Can I just insure my Jewelry or Bicycle?
No, coverage for valuable items such as jewelry will require an underlying home/condo or tenant’s insurance policy first.
Why do you need to do a “Soft Credit Check”?
In general, good credit scores are positively correlated with lower claims frequency and severity; so, insurers are more likely to provide discounts and monthly payment financing to individuals with good credit scores.
The Soft Credit Check has no impact on your overall credit score and for an insurer to conduct the check, you must authorize it with your insurance broker. The insurance broker does not see the result and the outcome of the check determines discount rates versus standard rates.
Can I make changes to the policy once it’s been issued?
Yes, you can increase or change the coverage that was first purchased, subject to policy minimums. If you move within BC, we can change the address and coverage type, too.
Do you offer multi-policy discounts?
Yes, but not all of our insurers offer this. Different insurers tend be more price or coverage competitive in certain areas, so having separate insurers for your home and auto may end up being less costly overall.