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

Missed a week of news? We’ve got you covered

Every Saturday, we post popular stories from the week

Long-time Hedley fan weighs in on concert

Davis Wiggs attended Hedley’s final show last night

Kelowna couple hoping for a miracle

Endang Suslash is hoping to stay in Canada so she continue receiving treatment for kidney failure

Highway potholes under ministry jurisdiction

The District of Lake Country doesn’t touch the highway when it comes to filling potholes

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in Kelowna before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Prospera Place

Bottle drive held for Kelowna fire victim’s family

Springfield Elementary held a bottle drive today to support the Van Gool family

B.C. umpire has developed thick skin after 30 years listening to insults

Scott McLaren pays no mind to comments from the cheap seats

Musicians Sarah Harmer, Grimes join B.C. anti-pipeline protests

Musicians are in Vancouver for the Juno Awards on Sunday night

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Snowfall warning for Highway 3

Kelowna - A snowfall warning is in effect from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read