The government announced with great fanfare last week that drivers in British Columbia are all going to receive a fat ICBC rebate cheque courtesy of the $600 million in savings the insurance company built-up as a result of a major decrease in crashes when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold last spring.
We are being told that the average driver will receive a $190 rebate cheque from ICBC, which sounds wonderful until you look at all the fine details.
Just like thousands of British Columbians who are still left out in the cold as they continue to wait for that BC Recovery Benefit that was supposed to have arrived by Christmas, the ICBC rebate may not actually be what it is portrayed to be on those expensive television ads.
If you just scratch the surface of what the government is trying to portray here, it quickly becomes obvious that the safest drivers will not be the ones receiving the highest payout.
If fact — it’s the complete opposite.
It quickly became obvious the ICBC rebate program has nothing to do with safe driving records.
That’s because ICBC only made a calculation based on a flat 19 per cent of whatever you paid for insurance between April 1 to Sept. 30, 2020.
So in effect, the biggest rebate cheques are actually flowing back to the worst drivers who are required to buy the most expensive insurance.
Let’s say for example a really bad driver pays 10 times more for insurance because of repeat accidents. Well, they get a rebate that is ten times the average.
So if you are a safe driver and receiving the full accident-free discount, don’t expect a big ICBC rebate cheque anytime soon.
Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.