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​Drivers, experience and crash history

Like other insurers, we carefully assess risk when determining your insurance premiums. From September 1, 2019, three key factors will help us to assess risk: who drives your car, driving experience, and crash history.

These are part of the changes we’re making to get the car insurance system back on track and better for B.C. Read more about the changes.

Other factors, such as convictions for driving offences, also reflect your risk as a driver and can impact what you pay for some Optional coverages.




Who drives your car

For policies as of September 1, 2019, one of the biggest changes you’ll notice when you renew your insurance is that we will ask you to list who drives your car.

Under the old system, if a friend borrowed your car and caused a crash, the claim would go on your crash history, rather than theirs. As of September 1, crashes follow the driver – so the claim will go on your friend’s crash history, not yours. This helps to make sure the right person is held accountable for the crash.

Listing drivers won’t necessarily mean you pay more. It will depend on each listed driver’s experience and crash history.

Who should I list?

You should list anyone who drives your car regularly, such as:

  • Household members and employees (of the principal driver, registered owner, or lessee if the vehicle is leased)
  • Learners
  • Others, such as friends and family, who use your car regularly

Why do I need to list other drivers?

If an unlisted driver causes a crash in your car, you could face a financial consequence unless you have opted for Unlisted Driver Protection.

How do I list drivers?

When you see your Autoplan broker to buy or renew your insurance, bring the driver's licence number and date of birth for each person you want to list.

To list out-of-province drivers you will also need the jurisdiction of their licence (for example, Alberta) and their full name.

You can add or remove drivers at any time.




Driving experience

Another factor in determining your premiums is driving experience – how long you’ve been driving.

As of September 1, 2019, up to 40 years of driving experience will be recognized for Basic insurance discounts. That means the more experience you accumulate, the more you can save through discounts. (Previously, drivers would stop earning discounts after nine years.)

The driving experience of your listed drivers is also considered.

Inexperienced drivers

We will continue to offer inexperienced drivers discounted premiums while they gain more experience behind the wheel. However, this discount will be reduced if they cause a crash, and eliminated if they cause a second one in the scan period.




Crash history

Your crash history is a key indicator of driver risk. The more crashes you cause, the more you will pay in insurance.

Like driving experience, the crash history of the drivers listed on your policy is also considered.

Crash history scan period

The scan period is the timeframe we use to review your crash history. As part of the new insurance model, we will introduce a ten-year scan period gradually.

So, as of September 2019, we will look back at at-fault crashes from March 1, 2017* only.

Going forward, we will continue to “scan” back to March 1, 2017, until we reach 2027. From then on, the scan period will be 10 years. At each renewal, we’ll review the previous ten years’ crash history.

* At-fault crashes where the first payment on the claim occurred on or after March 1, 2017.

Convictions for driving offences

If you’re convicted of two minor driving offences (such as failure to stop at a stop sign or speeding) or one serious offence (such as excessive speeding or distracted driving) that occurred on or after June 10, 2019, your premiums for Collision and Extended Third Party Liability (two optional ICBC coverages) will also increase.


Driver factor

Your driver factor is a number which represents risk and reflects the combination of your experience and crash history. The lower your number, the lower your risk. ICBC uses this number to help determine how much it will cost to insure your car.

You can get a report on your driver factor, the same way you can obtain your driving record. Read more about driver factor.

How are premiums calculated?

Each insurance policy starts with a base premium (currently, this is $1,063).

Your premium then increases or decreases depending on aspects related to the vehicle (such as its use and location) and its drivers – their experience and crash history.

Of the driver portion, the majority (75%) will be based on the principal driver – the person who drives the car the most. The remaining 25% will be based on the listed driver with the highest risk.*


* If the other listed driver is lower-risk than the principal driver, the premium will only be reduced if that listed driver is a household member or employee. 

Crash forgiveness

We know that crashes do happen, so we will forgive one crash after 20 years of driving experience (at least 10 in B.C.), provided you have been crash-free for the last 10.

Repaying a claim

Under the old insurance system, if you were found responsible for a crash, you could repay the cost of the claim to ICBC so it wouldn’t affect your insurance premium. However, this allowed some drivers to mask the true risk they represent.

So, starting September 1, 2019, only claims less than $2,000 (including the deductible) can be repaid. If your crash occurred on or after this date, repayment is subject to this limit.

To give you enough time to make an informed decision and understand how a claim affects your insurance, customers have until August 31, 2020, to decide whether to repay a claim (of any amount) that occurred between March 1, 2017 and August 31, 2019.

If you’d like to repay a claim, see your Autoplan broker or contact us.

As of September 1, 2019, Claim Centres will not accept claim repayments. To make a claim repayment, you can visit your ICBC Autoplan broker or call Insurance Customer Service at 604-661-2800 or 1-800-663-3051.