By Blair Qualey
In a post-pandemic world in which many British Columbians are spending less time in the office and more time working from home, it’s important to highlight an initiative introduced by ICBC that reflects this trend and may also help motorists save money.
The COVID pandemic created a seismic shift in the workplace, and working remotely became the rule rather than the exception. However, many companies have adopted ongoing flexible arrangements for staff. The provincial government, as an example, recently announced that it is moving to work-from-home arrangements for public servants to attract a greater variety of employees.
For those who are seemingly driving less, ICBC has introduced a distance-based discount for insurance policies, which means, if you drive less than 10,000 kilometres in a year, you can submit your odometer reading and potentially get a discount on your ICBC optional insurance.
The announcement by ICBC suggests the following rules will apply:
- Drive less than 10,000 kilometres per year.
- Provide two odometer readings a year apart, as proof of your driving distance.
- Have a 12-month Autoplan policy with ICBC optional coverage.
- Have a vehicle within an eligible rate class (although most vehicles are eligible for this discount, there are certain rate classes that are not eligible, such as motorcycles and collector vehicles, because their rate classes already reflect low kilometres travelled).
The qualifying period for the distance-based discount starts when you provide the first vehicle odometer reading at your annual renewal or when you purchase a new policy.
If you’re eligible, a discount ranging between 10 and 15 per cent will then be applied to select ICBC optional coverages on your renewed policy.
The less you drive, the greater the discount.
For insurance policies effective June 1, 2023, or later, the new distance-based discount will offer between 10 and 15 per cent off of the following coverages:
- Extension Third Party Liability
- Specified Perils
More information on usage-based insurance, including the new distance-based discount and how to submit your odometer reading, is available on icbc.com.
ICBC says it has been hearing from customers who are interested in the flexibility provided by user-based options, such as the low-kilometre discount that was introduced in 2019, and it’s to their credit that have responded with action.
In a province in which affordability is a big issue, any steps that ICBC can take that reflect the evolving driving habits of British Columbians and will make life a little more affordable, should be acknowledged.
Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org