ICBC posts third quarter results

February 18, 2020

At the end of the third quarter, ICBC is forecasting a year-end net loss of $91 million, which is consistent with our second quarter forecast. 

Total claims costs for the first three quarters of our fiscal year (April 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019) totalled $4.28 billion, $574 million less than the same period last year. We attribute the reduction in claims costs to two key factors: fewer crashes occurring in our province and the product reform implemented in April of last year. The reform increased accident benefits, introduced a limit on pain and suffering payouts for minor injuries and expanded the scope of the Civil Resolution Tribunal for certain ICBC claim disputes. 

In October of last year, the B.C. Supreme Court's decision on expert reports resulted in previously recognized savings coming from a limit on expert witnesses and reports being reversed this fiscal year, putting unfavourable pressure on our claims costs. This has been offset by the anticipated impact of an amendment to the Evidence Act government is planning to enact in legislation by March 31, 2020. In  addition, investment income this fiscal year has been higher than expected, helping our overall bottom line.

Overall, while a significant reduction in claims costs is a positive development, we are still concerned about the rising cost of claims from crashes that happened before the April 1, 2019 product reform went into effect. Those continued cost pressures are reflected in the prior years' claims adjustments of $692 million, which is a result of a higher than expected number of large and complex claims.

At the end of Q3, ICBC posted a net income of $20 million pdf, which is $880 million better than the same period last year. The favourable Q3 result is partly because we have realized the majority of our investment gains for this fiscal year and we do not expect to receive as much investment income in Q4.

ICBC continues to have a stable and low expense ratio.