In response to customer feedback, ICBC will soon offer windshield repair coverage to improve the value and services for customers across the province and, at the same time, help reduce the costs which are putting pressure on insurance rates by approximately $8 million per year.
Starting this spring, customers who purchase ICBC’s optional comprehensive coverage will be able to have a chip in their windshield repaired for free, as long as it is safe and appropriate to do so.
“This program shows ICBC is listening to feedback from its customers and business partners,” said, Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Windshield repairs cost significantly less than replacements, which will help ICBC reduce its material damage costs while improving service for more than 2.5 million customers across the province.”
In recent years, ICBC would replace a damaged windshield rather than offer to repair it because repaired windshields would often still need to be replaced a short time later. Today, repairs can last substantially longer due to improvements in the technology and materials used.
In 2016, ICBC handled approximately 109,800 windshield replacement claims – a 17 per cent increase in frequency and a 28 per cent increase in average replacement costs compared to 2010. The average cost of a windshield replacement in 2016 was approximately $820; whereas typically a windshield chip repair costs under $70.
“Moving toward windshield repair rather than full replacement – when possible – is something that will hugely benefit residents in my community and more rural parts of B.C.,” said Donna Barnett, Minister of State for Rural Economic Development. “Not only will it make dealing with a chipped windshield more convenient, but it will contribute toward lowering the pressures on insurance rates, which is a win-win.”
“This new program truly demonstrates our commitment to listening to the feedback we have received from customers and stakeholders on ways we can make our services better, while doing everything we can to reduce our costs and help alleviate the pressure on insurance rates,” said Mark Blucher, ICBC’s president and CEO. “The new program will have many benefits for our optional customers, including having no impact on their claims history or deductible.”
The new windshield repair program also demonstrates ICBC’s commitment to the environment – it is estimated 8,000 fewer windshields will be in B.C.’s landfills each year as a result of this initiative.
The new program will be included in ICBC’s comprehensive coverage for private passenger vehicles as well as many light commercial vehicles – those with a gross vehicle weight of less than 8,800 kg.
ICBC will be working with its valued business partners, including the Automotive Retailers Association and the New Car Dealers Association, in developing the new program and more details will be announced closer to its implementation this spring.
Government and ICBC remain committed to continuing to look for opportunities to improve services for customers while also alleviating the external pressures being put on insurance rates.