At an average of $18 per year after the wrong premiums had been applied, ICBC will be paying motorists back.
According to a statement that was released by the ICBC auto insurance company in Canada, it had been charging the wrong premiums to motorists because inaccurate vehicle descriptions had been applied to the calculations.
However, it has also announced that new software has been implemented that will prevent a repetition of this issue.
In the meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of drivers in British Columbia will be receiving refunds on their auto insurance premiums. This will return the money that these drivers had been overcharged over a span of up to six years. It is estimated that approximately 441,000 customers in British Columbia were either overcharged or undercharged for their insurance policies during that span of time.
Letters will be issued to all of the affected auto insurance customers, so that they know what to expect.
This includes both the customers who paid too much and who paid too little for their insurance premiums for optional additional coverage. That said, ICBC has specifically pointed out that while those who overpaid will be receiving a refund, those who underpaid will not need to make any repayments for the difference.
Adam Grossman, a spokesperson for the company, released a statement in which he said that “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused our valued customers.” He explained that the average check will be for $18 for every year that the customer was overcharged.
The issue as a whole – including underpayments and repayments – has cost the auto insurance company over $100 million in lost revenue and reimbursements, said ICBC. Its news release stated that “This is a very complex issue, and ICBC is committed to ensuring there is accurate information on vehicle descriptions for all customers prior to launching a new computer system for its insurance business.” The new technology that is being used by the insurer can use the vehicle identification number (VIN) that is provided by the automaker in order to automatically obtain a description of that vehicle, eliminating the old error.