ICBC to add online renewal option, eliminate licence plate decals

Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general announces British Columbians will soon be able to renew personal ICBC insurance policies online, Feb. 14, 2022. || B.C. government photo
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People in British Columbia will soon be able to renew their personal ICBC insurance policies online.

Eligible ICBC customers with policies expiring on or after May 1 will have the option to renew their policy using their computer, tablet or mobile device, according to a release by the Ministry of Public Safety.

While May 1 will be the official launch date, customers can renew their insurance up to 44 days earlier, meaning some people will be able to renew online as soon as March 17.

With support from ICBC’s broker network, the new online insurance service will enable customers to renew their current personal auto insurance coverage, change their address, apply for discounts, update the drivers listed on their policy and modify how they use their vehicle.

May 1 also will mark the last day B.C. drivers will be required to display a licence plate validation decal to show they have valid insurance. ICBC said it will make a one-time investment of up to $1 million to enhance and expand the Automated Licence Plate Recognition program, which helps law enforcement in B.C. detect unlawful, unlicenced and uninsured drivers.

“The online insurance renewal initiative offers British Columbians a more convenient way to renew their ICBC auto insurance,” said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general. “Working through the RCMP, police agencies in B.C. will be enhancing and expanding the Automated Licence Plate Recognition program that exists today.”

The cost of this investment will be offset by savings related to manufacturing and distributing the decals, according to the release.

B.C. will join provinces including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec where the decals have already been removed from circulation.

“We know online insurance renewals are something our customers have been waiting for, and we’re pleased to announce that we’re on track to have this option go live next month,” said Nicolas Jimenez, president and CEO, ICBC. “Online insurance renewals add to the growing number of digital options available to customers, providing greater convenience, choice and flexibility for British Columbians.”

Online renewal will not be available for temporary operation permits, lapsed policies, new insurance policies, mid-term changes, cancellations, joint ownership or multiple owners, leased vehicles, motorcycles, motorhomes (RVs), collector vehicles and commercial or fleet policies.

Changes to optional coverages will not be available online and must be completed through a broker, in person or over the phone.

ICBC will continue to allow customers to renew their insurance, make adjustments to their policy and complete other transactions by phone and email, a measure brought in during the pandemic.

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