More than 140 ‘ice bomb’ insurance claims reported to ICBC

Reports of damage due to ice falling from Metro Vancouver bridges a fraction of claims calls received by the insurer over the past week

What happened: The Insurance Corp. of British Columbia has to date received more than 140 reports of ice falling from Port Mann, Alex Fraser and Golden Ears bridges.

Why it matters: Claims submitted to the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia dial-a-claim system leap by more than 22 per cent week-over-week on Monday in the Lower Mainland. 

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B.C.’s provincial auto insurance has had a busy week.

When winter hit Lower Mainland roads on Monday (Jan. 13), claims received through the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia’s (ICBC) dial-a-claim system leapt by more than 22 per cent compared to the week before.

In total, ICBC received 3,539 calls from the Lower Mainland that day — 645 more than on Monday, Jan. 6. Across the province, 5,075 calls were received — up 24 per cent from the 4,087 calls received seven days earlier.

But as snow continued to pile up in many communities throughout the Lower Mainland region, calls placed to ICBC fell.

Data from the crown corporation shows that about 22 per cent fewer calls were placed on Tuesday. The next day, calls fell by another 32 per cent.

Calls on Tuesday (Jan. 14) were still up more than nine per cent week-to-week. On Wednesday (Jan. 15), they fell by just over 18 per cent compared to the previous Wednesday. The insurer noted in an email to BIV that the figures track calls placed with ICBC through its dial-a-claim system. The number of individual claims submitted could be lower, as a call to follow-up on an existing claim for example are included in the system's call totals.

To date, ICBC also says it has received 141 reports of falling ice — or “ice bombs” — from three Lower Mainland bridges: the Port Mann, Alex Fraser and Golden Ears.

Over the last three days, ICBC's dial-a-claim system received 11,730 calls across British Columbia, up nearly 10 per cent week-to-week.  

Monday was the system's busiest day of the last six for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and North Central regions. Week-over-week, calls were up 12 per cent on Vancouver Island (331 calls on Monday) and up 110 per cent in the North Central region (122 calls on Monday). Tuesday was busiest for the Southern Interior, which registered 140 calls, up by more than 50 per cent week-to-week. 

hwoodin@biv.com

@hayleywoodin

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