ICBC bans monthly payments by credit card

BY ROB SHAW, VANCOUVER SUN

Car insurer says new policy will save $1 million annually in card processing fees

VICTORIA — B.C. drivers may no longer use their credit cards to pay for monthly basic auto insurance, as part of cost-saving changes at the Insurance Corp. of B.C.

The public auto insurer quietly introduced the new policy on Nov. 1, which forbids payment by credit card for customers who pay their insurance premiums via a monthly payment plan. Debit, cheques and cash are still acceptable.

“We made this change in an effort to reduce the costs associated with credit card payments and to ensure we can continue to offer an affordable payment plan program for customers who need it,” said ICBC spokesman Adam Grossman.

“Unfortunately, credit card payments result in merchant fees we are responsible for paying and we are continually looking at where we can better control our costs to help keep our rates as low as possible for all customers.”

ICBC projects it will save $1 million annually in card processing fees.

Customers who choose to pay their premiums as an annual lump sum (which can be in excess of $1,000, depending on the driver record) are still permitted to use credit cards.

The change will be a major inconvenience to some customers, and is the kind of thing ICBC can get away with only because the Crown agency has a monopoly on basic insurance and drivers can’t take their business elsewhere, said NDP critic Adrian Dix.

“What they are doing is making things harder for their customers and clearly, given what they say the fees are, a lot of their customers were using this method of payment,” Dix said.

ICBC may be claiming it needs to save money, but at the same time it has also wasted millions on projects that are over budget, such as a computer systems transformation initiative, Dix said.

The corporation says it has been cutting costs as it seeks to lower proposed basic rate hikes for motorists.

The government last month gave ICBC special permission to take $450 million from its optional insurance business and dump it onto basic rates, to bring down a proposed 6.7-per-cent increase in basic rates to 5.5 per cent.

 

Please note that ICBC’s twitter says that “Credit cards were never a monthly payment option. Prepayments or lump sum payments on credit r no longer allowed w/monthly plans” ^kp

 

Alberta: Insurance companies bracing for a flurry of calls

By CINDY WHITE | 660 News

The phones could be ringing off the hook at your insurance agent’s office.

Claims will likely jump due to the snowfall in southern Alberta.

Heather Mack with the Insurance Bureau of Canada explained to 660 NEWS, crashes often spike around the first significant snowfalls, and the time change related to daylight saving.

She pointed out, drivers need to remember it’s not summer anymore.

“Never think you’re invincible on the road, because you’re quickly proven wrong, not only just based on the size of the vehicle you’re driving, but the damage you can do to other people on the road as well,” she said.

Mack added, the Insurance Bureau believes drivers should be given the choice of whether they use winter tires, not be forced to do so by government regulation.

However, many companies offer discounts to those who do swap out to stickier rubber when the cold and snow blow in.

Stating the Obvious: Canadians Hate Winter Driving

Source: State Farm Canada Press Release: Alerting you to our latest news release outlining results from a national survey about Canadians and their driving habits. In perhaps the biggest understatement in news history, the majority of Canadians hate driving in the winter.

The weather last winter was terrible in most provinces across the country, so it’s no surprise that 82 per cent of Canadians dislike driving in the winter. Blizzards, freezing rain and ice make driving difficult, and winter driving requires people to be focused, eliminate all forms of distraction and concentrate on the road. According to findings from a national State Farm survey, 86 per cent of Canadian drivers believe they are good drivers, but come the first snow fall, 66 per cent say people drive horribly, like they’ve never seen snow before.

By the numbers:

  • 2 out of 3 Canadians say people drive terribly once the snow flies
  • 82% dislike driving in the winter
  • 45% say they find it hardest to drive when there’s black ice, followed by freezing rain (23%)
  • 73% dislike driving during the evening

 

Click info graphic below for more information.

A recent national State Farm Canada Survey asked Canadians to rate their driving strengths and weaknesses. Full infographic in link below. (CNW Group/State Farm)

Police in Newfoundland arrested a man with $47,000 in outstanding fines

Police in Newfoundland say they’ve arrested a man who owes thousands of dollars in outstanding fines.

Officers in St. John’s pulled over the 29-year-old man after a pursuit on October 31, 2015.

Police allege the accused was driving without insurance or registration and owes more than of $47,000 in outstanding fines.

The man is charged with driving while disqualified, flight from police, and breach of court orders.

 

Don’t wait for snow to arrive to change your tires — do it now and avoid the rush

Read more
Why James Bond can’t get car insurance

Why James Bond can’t get car insurance

Source: The Telegraph

James Bond might get the sort of company cars that most of us can only dream of, but it seems that he would struggle to get insurance for them.

With the new Bond movie, SPECTRE, receiving its world premiere tonight, Privilege decided to work out the premium it would charge him for cover on an Aston Martin. However, it ultimately decided he was uninsurable.

Explaining it’s thinking, it said:

  • Mr Bond is often involved in high-speed car chases, providing great cause for concern about his road safety awareness and significantly increasing his propensity to crash. In addition, the large number of road accidents in his driving history makes him outside of our risk appetite.
  • His cars often have specialist modifications, such as ejector seats, machine guns and even amphibious capability, all of which pose a significant risk. It would also be quite difficult for us to source a like-for-like courtesy car while his was being repaired.
  • We use home addresses to calculate premiums and we suspect that he would use an address in an exotic location that we do not cover.
“James Bond has the sort of accident record that would put off most insurers.”
  • He is always on the vodka martinis, which causes concern that he has a lackadaisical attitude to drink-driving.
  • Can a spy actually give us his real name? If not, he would be committing insurance fraud by providing a false name on his application.

Rob Widdowfield, senior motor underwriting manager at the insurer, concluded: “High-speed car chases are an essential ingredient for any Bond film. However, they are our worst nightmare. I’m afraid we would have to politely decline Mr Bond’s application for insurance and suggest that he find cover with a more specialist provider.”

Aston Martin broker Philip Jones added: “James Bond has been good for Aston Martin sales, but it’s a shame he doesn’t look after his cars as well as our customers do.”

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