VICTORIA, B.C. – ICBC says it has hired 43 new estimators in response to the increase in vehicle claims costs, and to enhance oversight of autobody repair costs as the provincial government works to bring the Crown Corporation back to financial stability.
ICBC says that the new hires are the first estimator trainee group to be engaged with a full training program since 2002. Since December 2016, ICBC says that a total of 115 estimators have been hired both into new positions and replacing those lost to attrition. The insurance corporation plans to hire 17 additional estimators this year, including material-damage estimators in Fort St. John and Prince George.
Due to the growth in the number of estimators over the last 18 months, ICBC has completed 2,800 more site visits of collision repair shops than in the previous fiscal year. That amounts to a 38.5 percent year-over-year increase in shop visits..
“We understand that British Columbians needing auto repair work have concerns about possible overbilling, and the impact this has on insurance costs. That’s why I directed ICBC to increase the number of estimators on the front lines,” said David Eby, Attorney General. “These new hires will provide more guidance and support to body shops, increase governance of ICBC’s material-damage programs, and help strengthen ICBC’s relationships with industry.”
As part of a suite of actions to keep insurance rates affordable for B.C. drivers, ICBC says it is working with collision repair shops and industry associations on changes that will modernize the current tiering of auto-body suppliers. The redesign of these programs will help improve efficiencies, improve program governance and ensure customers continue to receive the highest standards of vehicle repairs at the best market value.