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

More snow called for the Kootenays

Environment Canada issued the bulletin Tuesday under its “BC Traveller’s Routes forecast”

Kootenay employers ready to meet job seekers at Black Press career fair

Dozens of companies will attend the event on Nov. 15 at the Ktunaxa Nation Building in Cranbrook

Sandblasting Silver City skate sign

The Trail Sk8 Park was closed on Thursday so workers could ready a sign for painting

Trail vet says voting system has worked for 150 years

Letter to the Editor from Vaughn Budd of Trail

Area A seeks views on cannabis rules

The public hearing for Area A residents will go Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m.

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

Most Read