VICTORIA _ The minister responsible for British Columbia’s public auto insurance agency says a  “criminal” cyberattack will delay COVID-19 rebate cheques that were supposed to be in the mail this week.

Mike Farnworth says the Insurance Corporation of B.C. discovered last weekend the private Ontario company it hired to print and distribute the rebate cheques was the victim of a cybersecurity breach.

He says no personal customer information other than names and addresses was obtained in the breach.

Farnworth said last month the rebates to policyholders will range from $25 to $400 after ICBC saved about $600 million last year due to low accident claims during the pandemic.

The Insurance corporation says in a statement that the cyberattack did not affect its own systems, which are secure.

The corporation says it has contacted B.C.’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner about the breach.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2021.

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