Injury claims, not collision repairs, are the biggest pressure on ICBC rates. (Black Press files)

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

The president of B.C.’s Automotive Retailers Association has rejected suggestions by an ICBC union that the public car insurance company’s financial pressures are partly due to overbilling on collision repairs.

With ICBC undergoing an audit by the province to find savings and curb rising vehicle insurance rates, Ken McCormack said there is no evidence behind allegations by the union representing ICBC estimators that repair shops using the ICBC Express claim program are producing unnecessary costs.

“Overbilling doesn’t happen and really can’t happen with the province-wide estimating system that won’t allow an accredited shop to submit a repair estimate that doesn’t meet established criteria,” McCormack said Monday.

ICBC is facing a deficit and a rate increase of 6.4 per cent on basic coverage and 9.6 per cent on optional insurance takes effect this month. The NDP government approved the rate increase and ordered a review of ICBC operations to seek savings.

RELATED: ICBC rates going up this month

ICBC financial statements show increasing costs of injury claims. From 2009 to 2016, claims costs rose 80 per cent, with the steepest increases for minor injuries and legal costs.

McCormack noted that the latest ICBC financial reports show collision repair costs are only 15 per cent of the total costs to ICBC.

“As suppliers, we are already as lean as we can be and there simply aren’t any more areas where we can lower costs and remain viable,” McCormack said. “The open door to fraud is with the bodily injury component and the government should be looking in that direction.”

Attorney General David Eby has ruled out adopting a no-fault insurance system that would assign a value to injuries by type and avoid the legal haggling that currently accompanies many bodily injury claims.

Just Posted

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Campbell River School District calls for report on buses and seat-belts

Parents have questions following expose on research around buses and safety

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

GoFundMe helps Vancouver Island teen battle a rare cancer

Nanaimo’s Michelle Reilly, 16, battling spinal cord cancer, seeking possible treatment in U.S.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Most Read