Customers who speak Cantonese or Mandarin can now speak directly to ICBC in their language of choice, thanks to a new, dedicated phone line that launched November 27, 2015.
The Chinese line allows customers to connect to a Cantonese or Mandarin-speaking interpreter who will help relay the customer’s claim, driver licensing or insurance enquiry to an ICBC representative and interpret the conversation. The toll-free line (1-855-813-2121), is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week for claims-related enquiries. For insurance and driver licensing enquiries, the line is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
These languages were selected based on customer demand. Cantonese and Mandarin are two of the most common languages spoken in Vancouver outside of English (2011 Census). They also rank in the top three languages most requested by ICBC customers, which are Mandarin, Punjabi and Cantonese, making up approximately 75 per cent of all interpretation inquiries.
The Chinese line supplements ICBC’s ongoing efforts to serve its multilingual customers. ICBC’s website features dedicated pages fully translated in the three most-requested languages. ICBC also provides free, over-the-phone, interpretation services in 170 languages. In 2013, ICBC launched its first direct phone line for Punjabi-speaking customers.
Since introducing its telephone language assistance service, the number of phone interpretation requests have tripled, with over 441,000 requests received in the last full year. All telephone interpretation services are provided by Canada-based company, CanTalk.