Are you prepared for new ICBC insurance changes? Here's what you need to know

Numerous changes come into effect Sept. 1

Get ready for some changes when you step into an Autoplan broker to renew your insurance after Sept. 1. 

There's already the 6.3 per cent increase to ICBC premiums that came into effect April 1, 2019.

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Driving experience and crash history always played a part in someone's premiums, but now it's going to play an even bigger factor

Perhaps the largest change? The driver is now responsible for a crash, even if they are driving another person's car, whereas before, the owner of the vehicle was hit with the accident on their premiums. 

You have to list anyone that will be driving your car when you renew your insurance. 

ICBC has introduced a new driver-based model that will "represent [a driver's] risk on the road." 

All drivers listed under one vehicle will have a combined score and will be totalled as a collective risk for that car. 

For this model, 75 per cent of a basic insurance premium is determined by the principal operator while the other 25 per cent is calculated against the driver with the highest level of risk.

There is a new scoring system being introduced as well that will use a 1.000 reference point.

With the change, a lower number than 1.000 means the person is a lower driving risk whereas a higher number would mean higher risk. 

Insurance policies will start with a base premium that will increase or decrease based on the driver factor of the individual with the highest risk.

Your driving record could also hit you on optional coverages. The new model will have frequent or serious driving conviction factored into your premiums for bothCollision and Extended Third Party Liability Coverages. 

Another big change comes to paying off a claim. 

If it made financial sense for you, you could pay off the claim to have it erased from your record and not affect your premiums but now, if your claim is over $2,000, you won't be allowed to pay it back.

You do have until Aug. 31, 2020 to decide if you want to repay an older claim (ICBC lists claims between March 1, 2019 and Aug. 31, 2019) even if it has already hit your premium and regardless of the cost of those claims. 

Of course, more recent crashes will impact insurance costs more than previously listed claims.

Your 10-year driving history will also be reviewed to determine risk and cost. 

There is a new discount though coming.

If you drive your car less than 5,000 km in one year, you could be eligible for a discount. When you go to renew, you can get your odometer reading recorded.

When you go to renew next time, if the mileage is less than 5,000 that was recorded, you will get a 10 per cent discount on your insurance. 

All in all, the new model will target drivers that are a risk to the roads, rather than a vehicle.

For a full list of changes, you can visit an Autoplan broker or ICBC's website.

- with files from Valerie Leung, Richmond News

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