Government responses to the pandemic fundamentally changed the way many professionals use their home. Those who continue to leverage their home as an office or workspace have had to update their homeowners insurance to account for this. What many of these same individuals have not considered though, is how the use of their vehicle may have changed too.
A number of BC residents are now using their vehicle (instead of a company provided one) to conduct business, and as a result are driving significantly more and over greater distances. On the flip side, some are driving significantly less, given that they don’t need to visit an office 5 days a week. In addition, with rising gas prices and inflation, many residents have thrown their hat into the entrepreneurial ring to supplement their income. The proliferation of both ride-hailing and delivery services in BC has made this possible. The roads are now flooded with Uber, Uber Eats, Lyft, DoorDash, Grubhub, and other gigs made available to nearly anyone with a valid BC driver’s license.
If any of this sounds familiar, you’re left wondering if you have adequate auto insurance coverage. You’re right to question this, as there may indeed be a principal change to your ICBC Territory and Rate Class. So, it is very important to review your coverage to account for any change to the use of your vehicle since the arrival of the pandemic. Below is a breakdown of where this review must begin, and where to turn from there.
Why You Need to Review Your Auto Insurance if You’ve Changed the Use of Your Vehicle Since the Pandemic
There May Have Been a Change to Your ICBC Territory Class
Your ICBC Territory Class may have changed, and if so, your insurance premiums may change too. Why? Where your vehicle is commonly located factors into premiums because traffic and other driving risks vary around British Columbia. For instance, there is typically a higher risk of a motor-vehicle accident (MVA) in more populated urban areas. On the other side of the coin, rural regions have other distinct risks, such as damage due to road conditions and/or weather-connected events.
Considering the above, ICBC has divided the province into 14 geographic areas, such as the Lower Mainland or the Thompson/Okanagan region that share common characteristics. View these designated territories to identify whether or not you require a review of your existing ICBC AutoPlan.
There May Have Been a Change to Your ICBC Rate Class
In addition to Territory Class, there are many ways that the use of your vehicle may have adjusted and impacted coverage, premiums, and qualification. These are broken down into Rate Classes. ICBC has defined common ones to include the following
- Pleasure Rate Class: Driving for typical day-to-day activities. This may include errands, driving kids to school, or taking a road trip. Under a Pleasure-Use Rate Class, you can also use the vehicle for up to six days in a calendar month for commuting, business or delivery.
- Commuting Rate Class: Driving to work or school, in addition to pleasure use. There are different rate classes, depending on how far you commute.
- Business Rate Class: Driving for business purposes. Common examples include a salesperson or real estate agent who drives to meet with customers and clients.
- Delivery Rate Class. Driving for delivery. There are different rate classes depending on the type of vehicle, what you deliver and the distance travelled. New types of online delivery services include companies operating in BC such as DoorDash, SkipTheDishes, and Uber Eats.
- Rate Class for Ride-Hailing: Driving Uber/Lyft. View classification breakdown here.
Again, if any of the above has changed or been added to your BC driver “profile” it’s time for a review of your existing ICBC AutoPlan.
Unsure? Here’s What to Do
We know that reading through ICBC resources may feel a bit overwhelming, and these continue to be confusing and uncertain times. So to ensure that you have adequate auto insurance coverage to account for any change to the use of your vehicle over the last two years – contact Park Insurance. An independent broker at Park will ask the right questions, perform a comprehensive review of your existing policies, and put you on the right track so that you’re covered for any auto-related risks.