Windshield repairs covered by ICBC are a major portion of glass shops’ business. (Wikimedia Commons)

Windshield shops hit by new ICBC regulations

ICBC rejects claim glass rates haven’t changed in 20 years

An “arbitrary” 14 per cent increase in ICBC’s discount on windshield replacements is pushing auto repair businesses to lay off staff or in some cases even close down, an industry association says.

Automotive Retailers Association president Ken McCormack said Wednesday he has taken the issue up directly with Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby, who have moved aggressively to reduce accident claim costs at ICBC. The association is also lobbying individual MLAs to change legislation.

In addition to raising basic insurance rates by 6.4 per cent, the B.C. government has moved to cap soft tissue injury payouts and targeted body shop costs that ICBC says have risen 30 per cent in the past two years alone.

RELATED: ICBC called financial ‘dumpster fire’

RELATED: ICBC to cap pain and suffering awards

The association says glass shops aren’t the problem, since they haven’t had a significant increase in their windshield replacement rate for 20 years. It estimates that ICBC business accounts for 60 to 70 per cent of glass shops’ business, and glass repairs account for only 8.5 per cent of ICBC’s vehicle repair costs.

ICBC issued a statement calling the suggestion of a 20-year freeze on rates “completely false. ICBC’s last labour rate increase for its top tier glass suppliers (Glass Express) occurred on Jan. 1, 2016.”

Another cost-saving change is the requirement to use the cheapest windshields available. McCormack says that often means ordering from a dealership, with a delay of days, rather than using aftermarket windshields that are in stock.

ICBC cites a steep increase in accident claims, along with soaring legal costs as people hire lawyers to pursue injury payouts. The rise in accidents has been significant in the past two years, after a period of little increase as vehicles and roads become safer with construction and new technology.

The Attorney General’s ministry issued a statement in response, calling the changes to glass pricing “long overdue” ways to reduce its costs. The changes also include increasing the allowances for wheel alignment and alloy wheel repair, and paying for windshield glass moulding only when it is actually replaced.

ICBC says payments for glass repair and replacements have increased by 140 per cent over the last decade, from $40 million in 2008 to $96 million in 2017, as both the number of claims and their average cost have increased.

McCormack said the moulding replacement policy was imposed on repair shops by ICBC to save administration costs.

“They are suggesting the industry is doing something wrong by charging for new mouldings whether or not they are installed,” McCormack said. “But this is something ICBC put in place a decade ago because it wouldn’t or couldn’t discuss rate increases.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: Scouts in Langley learn how to communicate during emergencies

Weekend event at Camp McLean part of worldwide Jamboree On The Air and Jamboree On The Internet

ELECTION 18: Langley Township, you chose Jack Froese for mayor

Township voters went with a familiar face, handing incumbent a third term as mayor

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Who won and who didn’t in the Lower Mainland votes

A look at the region’s mayoral races, starting with Doug McCallum coming back to win in Surrey

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

The online auction features 22 items from Hawking, including his doctoral thesis on the origins of the universe, with the sale scheduled for 31 October and 8 November.

In Khashoggi case: Saudi calls, ‘body double’ after killing

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom announced early Monday, to express condolences for the death of the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by officials that allegedly included a member of the royal’s entourage.

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur waives right to preliminary hearing

Bruce McArthur, a 67-year-old self-employed landscaper, has been ordered to stand trial on eight counts of first-degree murder.

N.B. village faces backlash after council raises ‘straight flag’

Chipman Mayor Carson Atkinson says the flag met the village council’s criteria because it “recognizes, accepts and respects the rights of individuals under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

5 to start your day

Surrey’s new mayor has big promises to keep, a crash claims a life of Fraser Valley man

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

Most Read