The Two Hats of ICBC

Has ICBC lost sight of its core principles and values? It was set up as the steward of the public interest to simplify the insurance process and provide coverage at the lowest cost.

The reality, of course, is over time, ICBC has been transformed from a non-profit, break-even universal auto insurance provider into a revenue-driven government entity with two hats. These hats allow ICBC to assume roles that are well outside and completely contradictory to its original mandate.

ICBC’s first hat is Revenue Generator. It provides auto insurance, of course, but it also runs the Motor Vehicle Branch. This is a huge revenue generator from driver and vehicle licensing, registration, and traffic tickets.

Under its second hat, ICBC is The Enforcer. It can refuse to issue or renew driver’s licences for unpaid Criminal Code fines, Liquor Control and Licensing Act violations, Translink fines, bridge tolls, traffic tickets, or family maintenance payments.


You’re probably asking what the collection of these debts have to do with auto insurance, driver and vehicle licensing, and motor vehicle registration. Good question.

The travesty here is that ICBC could be the best insurance company in Canada if it went back to its original philosophy. Unfortunately, it’s clear the BC Government has no intention of doing that. ICBC should be brought back to its core principles and values. It should provide services under its original philosophy and fulfill the role by which a state run insurer was allowed and created.

As it stands, we are on the proverbial slippery slope. Will there be a bottom? Only time will tell.



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Einfeld Law is a highly knowledgeable and experienced BC personal injury law firm specializing in motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other negligence claims involving bodily injury. We have successfully litigated many ICBC and other insurance claims, including out of province, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury, whiplash, soft tissue injury, and all other bodily injury claims. We have collected millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. We never act for ICBC or other insurance companies.