ICBC matter-of-factly outlines changes to B.C.’s insurance system

Who: An acronym heavy combination: ICBC and PS DDB, with Holiday Films and Wave Productions.

What: “It’s as exciting as insurance gets,” a new campaign promoting the ICBC’s upcoming shift from the current litigation-based system, in which claims relating to auto crashes are settled through litigation, to a new “care-based system” called Enhanced Care.

When & Where: The campaign launched this week running across TV, online and radio, driving to a dedicated page on the ICBC website.

Why: In short, the shift to a care-based system means that the ICBC is leaving behind what it describes as the “adversarial approach” of suing the driver responsible for a crash, instead adopting a system that emphasizes “outcome-oriented and value-based care” for people hurt in accidents. According to the B.C. government, the change will reduce premiums by approximately 20% (as much as $400 per year), while substantially increasing care benefits.

How: In a refreshing break from so much insurance advertising, the creative implicitly acknowledges this is a category that people don’t tend to get overly excited about—even when policy changes can lead to significant cost savings. Katie Ainsworth, VP creative director for PS DDB, described the approach as “low-key and mildly self-deprecating.”

Each of the three video ads, “Couple,” “Family” and “Roommates,” show people telling a family member or roommate about a letter they’re received from ICBC informing them of the upcoming implementation of Enhanced Care and how it will result in a 20% reduction in insurance costs. Rather than being overjoyed or excited, the people being informed of the changes react with only with a mildly surprised “huh” before moving onto more important matters like a coffee refill or binge-watching TV.

“The brand’s point of view is to be very honest and transparent,” said Ainsworth. “The goal of the campaign is to have that authenticity and realism. The realism is that people aren’t saying ‘Whoo-hoo, my insurance is changing.’ They’re saying ‘Huh, that’ll work.’ It’s just more honest about the way people feel about insurance.”

And we quote: “Enhanced Care is a significant change and improvement to how car insurance works in British Columbia. While we’re very excited about the changes, we know they are not necessarily top of mind for our customers. Our hope is these relatable spots will explain the benefits of the changes and help build awareness in support of them.” — Lindsay Matthews, vice-president of public affairs and driver licensing, ICBC

Chris Powell