Your Questions About Auto (ICBC) Insurance & COVID-19, Answered
There is so much uncertainty in the world right now that nearly everything feels like it has changed. As people around the globe work together to slow the spread of the virus, businesses are adapting to a new climate of physical distancing, and adjusting their models to help protect and support their team and clients.
Designated an essential service, insurance companies and brokers are working hard to ensure that their clients can still obtain the coverage they need and understand the options they have during this time of instability.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about auto (ICBC) insurance.
How can I renew my ICBC insurance?
Our office hours are:
- Monday – Thursday | 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Friday | 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Saturday | 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
What is the process of renewing my ICBC policy by phone?
- Phone our office 250.595.5212 or complete our online ICBC request form.
- An auto insurance expert will contact you to review your policy coverages and collect payment.
- You will receive an email with your renewal documents.
- The original renewal documents, including the decal will be mailed to you.
What information do I need to process my ICBC renewal by phone or email
In order to process your renewal by phone or email, please have the following documents handy:
- Your Driver’s License Number.
- A list of drivers, including their BC Driver’s License Numbers and Dates of Birth.
- A photograph of your odometer reading, if you drive less than 5,000km/year.
What ICBC transaction can I currently complete by phone and email?
- Policy Changes
- Storage Policies
- Temporary Operating Permits
- New Plate Policies
- Estate Transfers
- Out of Province Transfers
How can I make changes or cancel my ICBC policy?
We are able to process policy changes as well as cancellations over the phone, please phone or email our office to connect with an auto insurance expert.
Can I add or remove listed drivers over the phone?
Yes, drivers can be added or removed from the listed drivers over the phone. In the case of joint-ownership, all owners must consent when a listed driver is removed.
If I renew by phone, how do I receive my decal?
Once the agent has bound the policy they will email you a copy of your insurance documents. Physical copies, including your decal, will then be sent to you via Canada Post. Once your renewal is complete and paid for your vehicle can be driven. A hard or soft copy of your new insurance documents should be kept with you, either physically in your vehicle or electronically via smart device. Law enforcement is able to determine whether or not a vehicle is insured by scanning your license plate, this holds true even if the decal on the plate is not current.
How do I sign for my documents?
Presently, according to ICBC’s procedure, we can accept signatures via email confirmation, or signed consent letter which we can send with your documents. The signed consent letter must either be returned via Canada Post or to our Shelbourne location (3561 Shelbourne Street).
If I request my insurance renewal online, will my insurance automatically renew?
No, by submitting the online ICBC request form, you are prompting an auto insurance expert to contact you to discuss your renewal. Your online form submission will not automatically renew your insurance.
What if I do not have access to email?
During this time, ICBC is allowing the use of a friend or a relatives email address, however, you must have access to this account during the phone call. If you are unable to access email entirely, please give us a call at 250.595.5212 and an auto insurance expert will guide you through the renewal process.
Can I renew my ICBC insurance by phone if I do not have a printer?
Don’t worry; We can still assist you even if you don’t have a printer. Save a copy of your insurance documents to your smart phone or other digital device. You can show law enforcement the digital version if necessary and we will mail you your original documents, including the decal.
How long does it take to hear from an auto insurance expert once I have submitted the ICBC request form online?
Once you submit the online ICBC request form, we will do our best to get back to you within one (1) business day. Please be aware we are currently experiencing a high volume of online renewal requests which may result is a slower response time. We are doing our best to get back to you as quickly as possible.
How can I pay for my ICBC renewal?
Your ICBC renewal can be paid by credit card, Visa/Master Card debit card, or monthly payments.
Can I defer my ICBC monthly payments?
ICBC has advised that customers who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19 can defer their monthly payments for up to 90-days without penalty. Apply for an ICBC Payment Deferral online or contact ICBC directly at 604.661.2723 or 1.800.665.6442. Please visit ICBC Payment Plan for more information. Please note, payments can be deferred for up-to three months. Should you choose to defer, payment in full will be taken by ICBC on the fourth month following your deferral.
I heard that ICBC is not charging cancellation fees and that we are able to retain our plates if we cancel due to covid, is this true?
ICBC has temporarily waived their $30 cancellation fee for any vehicle cancelled on or after April 23rd, 2020. They have given the option to retain and reuse your plate, should you wish to do so. There are some conditions to the plate retention and some things to consider before canceling only to re-plate at a later date. Please contact an auto insurance expert at 250.595.5212 or by email at [email protected] and an agent will review your options to see what will best suit your needs.
I have been laid off, or recently unemployed, am I able to temporarily switch my insurance to pleasure use?
We are sorry to hear about your recent unemployment. You can amend your insurance coverage to pleasure only by contacting us via phone or email. ICBC is also providing clients with the option to defer monthly payments without penalty. Please visit ICBC Payment Plan for more information.
Can I get storage insurance for my vehicle?
Yes, anyone who is not driving their vehicle during the pandemic, and who does not park it on public roads, can get storage insurance for their vehicle. If you have active insurance on the vehicle, you will have to cancel the policy. ICBC is presently waiving the $30 cancellation fee as well as the $18 new plate fee.
I have phoned your office and cannot seem to get through, what should I do?
Our offices are currently receiving a higher than anticipated call volume, and due to the new procedures, each transaction is taking longer than normal. Please complete our ICBC request form online and an agent will phone you back to complete your transaction. Alternatively, you can email that same information to [email protected] and an agent will phone you back.
Will I be able to renew my insurance via phone and email after covid?
At this time, ICBC has advised this model of renewing by phone or email is temporary. We have received a lot of positive feedback from our customers regarding this process and we have passed that information along to ICBC. We will keep you up-to-date should ICBC make this change permanent.
Can I renew or obtain an ICBC driver’s license over the phone?
ICBC Driver’s Licensing can now complete the following transactions over the phone:
- BC Driver’s License Renewal.
- BC Driver’s License reinstatement (if your license has been cancelled, prohibited or suspended and is not eligible for reinstatement).
- BC Driver’s License replacement.
Please call 1.800.950.1498 for more information.
These FAQs are generalizations and not meant to be definitive to every situation.
Your needs are unique and should be discussed in detail with an auto insurance expert.
CLICK HERE to download the ICBC FAQ’s.