Driving Back to School

In the span of a day, autumn seemed to arrive in Victoria: the leaves are falling, the coolness is settling in, and kids are going back to school!

Even without a pandemic changing the way pretty much everything works, September tends to be a busy, sometimes overwhelming month, particularly for people going to school or organizing school-aged children. Understandably, auto insurance is not at the top of everyone’s mind. However, if you have children or teenagers starting back at school, this may be a good time to assess and update your Autoplan insurance.

Rate Classes

One of the main factors ICBC uses to determine the rate you are charged for your auto insurance is how you use your vehicle, also called your rate class.

There are four main rate class categories: Pleasure, Commute, Business, and Delivery. The commute rate class is further broken down based on the distance of commute, so your premium is lower if your commute from home to work/school is 15 kilometers or fewer. To determine your rate class, tell your ICBC Autoplan broker what you use your vehicle for and how often you use it.

If the only commuting you do in your vehicle is driving your children (18 years old or younger) to their school, you probably want the Pleasure Use rate class. Pleasure Use gives you six days a month to drive to work or to your own school if you are a student, and six days a month for business and delivery use.

If you drop your children off at school on your way to work, you will need a Commute rate class.

Teenagers who drive themselves to school require a commute rate class, just like adults who drive themselves to work or school.

Drivers

About a year ago, ICBC introduced a new rating system based off of everyone’s individual driver factor (IDF). Under this system, all household members with driver’s licenses must be listed on your policy, including teens.

If your children will be driving your vehicle to school, they will definitely need to be added to your auto insurance policy. The rate class may also need to be amended.

You may need to update the principal operator of your vehicle as well, if your child will be the primary driver.

We recommend everyone add ICBC’s new Unlisted Driver Protection coverage, just in case someone who is not listed on your policy causes an accident in your vehicle, but this may be extra important if your vehicle is regularly driven by your child, who may permit one of their friends to drive the vehicle.

If you are not sure whether your ICBC auto insurance accurately represents your situation now that your kids are back in school, call your Autoplan broker.

Bonus Reminders

  • School zones are back in effect! From 8:00am to 5:00pm, use extra caution around all schools. In designated school zones, the maximum speed permitted is 30 km/h.
  • Car and booster seats are required until children reach nine years old or four feet nine inches tall (whichever comes first). (A breakdown of what kind of car seat to use for what age/size child can be found here.)
  • Novice drivers may be tempted to pick up their friends on their way to school, but are restricted to only one passenger (besides immediate family members).

These things may have an indirect impact on your car insurance too. Receiving multiple moving violation tickets can result in financial penalties beyond the cost of the tickets.