ICBC isn’t exactly the most trusted business entity in British Columbia, and the BC government is creating a Fairness Office in hopes of changing that.
BC Attorney General David Eby announced the creation of the office on Wednesday, January 29th, and the office is expected to begin operating in Spring 2021. (A similar watchdog office is was previously announced for the City of Vancouver.)
“British Columbians should have the peace of mind that they will be treated fairly after they’ve been injured in a crash”, he said.
The Fairness Office (no word on whether or not that’ll be the official name) will be independent from the claims arm of ICBC. It will review and resolve customer complaints against ICBC, as well as make recommendations regarding process and policy.
In addition, the office will be required to provide the public with reports regarding complaints filed against ICBC. ICBC will also be required to make any responses to these reports public.
“Each of our three million customers should have confidence in knowing that they’ll be treated fairly when they deal with us, and we welcome the fairness office to assist in that regard”, said the President and CEO of ICBC, Nicolas Jimenez.
The official Province of BC press release, however, noted that disputes regarding ICBC claims below $50,000 will continue to be handled by the Civil Resolution Tribunal and not the Fairness Office.
Additionally, several other changes as it relates to ICBC were simultaneously announced, including:
- a requirement to produce a customer-friendly summary of its annual report directly to its customers and in plain language, so that people can see how their premium dollars are spent;
- enhancing ICBC’s existing customer panel to provide more British Columbians a greater opportunity to offer input on a wider range of topics, including future changes at the corporation; and
- improving online services for booking road tests.
British Columbians pay the highest insurance premiums in the nation. Their monopoly on auto insurance here is well-known, and likely why many were not sympathetic when ICBC was almost defrauded. Something tells us that until those two things change, the province’s perception of ICBC likely won’t either.
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