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

Update: Firefighters battle blaze in downtown Williams Lake

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, crews on scene

Air quality high health risk in Williams Lake due to downtown building fire

Firefighters are still on scene at Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge

Gilbert, Drynock charged with first degree murder of Branton Regner

The accused also face two counts of attempted murder in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incident

Looking back and moving forward: Legion set to celebrate 85 years

In September, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139, Williams Lake, celebrates its 85th anniversary.

Williams Lake well represented at 55+ BC Games

Results from Williams Lake and area athletes competing at the games are as follows:

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Second bat found at Greater Victoria elementary school tests positive for rabies

Island Health confirms second rabies case, this time in Saanich

B.C. man guilty of first-degree murder in Yukon killing

Edward James Penner, 22, was given the mandatory life sentence for the 2017 slaying of 25-year-old Adam Cormack

Woman stabbed at least five times in Nelson during random attack

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

Most Read