Trapped gas: ICBC announces rebates to deal with soaring gas prices

Victoria, British Columbia — Some relief is on the way for BC drivers who have been spending big bucks at the pumps recently, as the province’s public insurer plans to roll out rebates in the coming months.

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), in recognition of the effect Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had on international gasoline prices, has decided to provide one-time rebates of $110 to drivers in the province to help them better cope with rising fuel costs.

Commercial customers should receive a slightly higher rebate of $165 due to their higher operating costs. The province says the refund will total more than $395 million.

Some critics point out that while the rebate is aimed at relieving rising gas prices, money is still being provided to EV drivers who remain largely unaffected by the recent price hike.

“People are facing increased costs through no fault of their own, but as a chain reaction that began with Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine,” said B.C. Premier John Horgan.

“Through our work to fix ICBC, we are able to put money back in people’s pockets to help a little with these increased costs.”

In Friday’s press release, the government attributed the possibility of granting this refund to the net income of $1.9 billion accumulated by the provincial insurer during the last fiscal year. The government says the remaining income will be reinvested into ICBC’s capital reserves to ensure fares remain affordable over the long term.

“This rebate is going to help a lot of people in this province,” said Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.

“This is another opportunity to put money back in the pockets of the workers who make this province a better place to live.

ICBC customers enrolled in direct deposit or credit card refunds can expect to receive their refund checks in May, with the remainder due in June.