The Definitive Guide to Car Insurance in British Columbia

When it comes to car insurance in British Columbia, navigating the intricacies of coverage options, rates, and regulations can feel like a daunting task. But fear not, for we are here to demystify the world of auto insurance in this comprehensive guide.

Understanding Car Insurance in British Columbia

Car insurance in British Columbia operates under a unique system known as the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). This provincial government-owned corporation is responsible for providing basic auto insurance coverage to all BC drivers. However, it’s important to note that while ICBC provides basic coverage, drivers also have the option to purchase additional coverage from private insurance companies.

Basic Autoplan Coverage

Basic Autoplan coverage is mandatory for all drivers in British Columbia. It includes:

1. Third-Party Liability:

This coverage protects you if you’re at fault in an accident, covering injury and property damage claims by others.

2. Underinsured Motorist Protection:

This coverage ensures you’re protected if you’re in an accident with an underinsured driver.

3. Accident Benefits:

Provides medical and rehabilitation benefits for you and your passengers in the event of an accident.

Optional Coverage

In addition to Basic Autoplan, British Columbia drivers have the option to purchase additional coverage from private insurance companies. This includes:

  • Collision Coverage:

    Covers damage to your vehicle in the event of a collision, regardless of fault.

  • Comprehensive Coverage:

    Protects your vehicle from non-collision-related incidents, such as theft, vandalism, and natural disasters.

  • Extended Third-Party Liability:

    Offers higher liability coverage limits than the basic plan, providing added protection.

  • Rental Vehicle Coverage:

    Extends your coverage to rental vehicles, ensuring you’re protected when driving rental cars.

  • Hit-and-Run:

    Covers you in the unfortunate event of a hit-and-run or an accident with an unidentified driver.

Central is here to help you with all your ICBC needs, talk to us today

Factors Affecting Car Insurance Rates in British Columbia

Car insurance rates in British Columbia can vary significantly based on several factors. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions and potentially lower your insurance costs.

1. Driving Record:

A clean driving record with no at-fault accidents or traffic violations typically results in lower insurance premiums.

2. Vehicle Type:

The make and model of your vehicle, as well as its age and safety features, can influence your insurance rates.

3. Location:

Where you live in British Columbia can impact your insurance rates, as areas with higher rates of accidents or theft may have higher premiums.

4. Usage:

How you use your vehicle, whether for commuting or pleasure, can affect your rates.

5. Coverage Options:

The type and amount of coverage you choose, including optional coverage, will impact your insurance costs.

Shopping for Car Insurance in British Columbia

When shopping for car insurance in British Columbia, it’s essential to compare quotes from different providers to find the best coverage at the most competitive rates. Be sure to ask about discounts and incentives that may apply to your situation, such as safe driver discounts or bundling your auto insurance with other policies.

The Claims Process

In the event of an accident or damage to your vehicle, understanding the claims process is crucial. Here’s a brief overview:

1. Report the Incident:

Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the incident and initiate the claims process.

2. Assessment:

An adjuster will assess the damage and estimate repair costs.

3. Repairs:

Your vehicle will be repaired by an approved repair shop, and you may need to pay your deductible.

4. Claim Resolution:

Your insurance provider will settle the claim based on the coverage and deductibles in your policy.


Navigating the world of car insurance in British Columbia doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By understanding the basic Autoplan coverage, optional coverage, factors affecting rates, and the claims process, you can make informed decisions and secure the coverage that suits your needs.

Central is Here to Help

Now you have all the information, why not get in touch? And as we’ve been serving BC since 1989 you can trust that we have the knowledge and experience to offer the best possible serivce.

So give us a call, send us a  message, or if you want to renew your ICBC policy from home click here.


OUR branches


Langley Crossing 
502-6339 200 Street,
Langley, BC.
V2Y 1A2

Phone: (604) 276-0244
Fax: (604) 271-6547

Hours of Operation
Mon to Fri: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sat to Sun: 9:00am-5:00pm
Holidays: 10:00am-4:00pm


Garden City Plaza
170-9040 Blundell Road,
Richmond, BC. 
V6Y 1K3

Phone: (604) 276-0234
Fax: (604) 276-0236

Hours of Operation
Mon to Fri: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sat to Sun: 9:00am-5:00pm
Holidays: 10:00am-4:00pm

North Vancouver

Pemberton Plaza
1246 Marine Drive,
North Vancouver, BC.
V7P 1T2

Phone: (604) 973-0244
Fax: (604) 973-0245

Hours of Operation
Mon to Fri: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sat to Sun: 9:00am-5:00pm
Holidays: 10:00am-4:00pm