(ICBC / Facebook)

A little over a year from now, British Columbians can more conveniently access and renew their auto insurance through a new online portal.

In a statement released Friday morning, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General announced that ICBC customers can renew personal insurance and get temporary operation permits starting May 2022.

“This is another important step to make ICBC work better for British Columbians,” said Minister Mike Farnworth in a written statement.

“While we make progress toward online renewals, our main focus remains on delivering Enhanced Care coverage and an average 20% reduction in insurance rates for British Columbians.”

Through 2021, the Crown corporation will be undertaking the technical work needed to launch their online insurance model.

Consultations about license plate decals are underway with stakeholders, including brokers, police agencies and road safety partners, and a decision on the future of the decal requirement is expected in 2021.

The shift in services to an online portal is one of the outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shown the need for more digitized services and already forced ICBC to move to email and phone-based insurance transactions, according to president and CEO, Nicolas Jimenez.

“Offering insurance renewals online will make buying insurance even more convenient and flexible,” he said.

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