Ken Poole stands by his car with a decal for a three-day insurance policy he said he was forced to buy due to ICBC software that didn’t know the number of days in February (he blocked his licence plate number to protect his privacy). Kelvin Gawley/Abbotsford News

VIDEO: Non-existent date forces Abbotsford man to purchase extra car insurance

Software that scheduled policy end on Feb. 29 caused headache for Ken Poole

How many days are there in February?

It’s an easy enough question to answer – 28 most years, 29 during leap years – but software developers apparently forgot, leading to a bureaucratic headache and added insurance costs for at least one Abbotsford man.

Ken Poole went to a local ICBC broker on Nov. 27, seeking a quote to renew his car insurance for three more months. To his surprise, he was told he could not do so, because such a plan would expire on Feb. 29, 2018 — a day that doesn’t exist.

The broker called ICBC, he said, and was told it was a computer glitch with no easy solution.

“I got pretty frustrated, I stormed out,” Poole said.

He said he called ICBC himself the next day and was told essentially the same thing: “that the computer system does not operate properly.”

Poole was forced to buy three days worth of insurance to bridge him until the end of November, and plans to then buy his three-month plan on Dec. 1. He said the bridge plan costs less than $20 after tax but was a challenge for his strict budget.

“What bugs me is that when people budget, such as myself, on limited funds, we’re forced to go and take money from something else to pay for three days of insurance, so we can get three months in three days,” he said.

Poole blamed a new ICBC software program last year, which he believes unnecessarily replaced an adequate system.

“In my mind, another waste of taxpayers’ money by the [former Premier Christy] Clark government,” he said.

Poole was among a “very small number of customers” affected by the issue, according to ICBC spokesperson Lindsay Olsen. She said only those wishing to buy a three-month policy ending on the non-existent Feb. 29 were affected.

She did not provide an exact number of those affected provincewide.

Poole and others in the same boat were given two options, Olsen said: buy a longer policy or a three-day policy, followed by a three-month policy. Poole said his limited resources made affording more than three months of insurance impossible.

“These options were communicated to brokers but, given how few customers would be impacted by this, some brokers may have needed assistance,” she said. “We apologize to any customers who were inconvenienced but we feel the two options we put in place were good ones.”

Olsen said the glitch would be fixed within two weeks and the problem would not affect anyone else in the future.


@KelvinGawley
kelvin.gawley@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

IN THE PAGES: Libraries offer online educational alternatives for kids

Maple Ridge librarian Sarah Jost suggests a few websites parents might want to check out this fall

SHARE: Views offered from local dikes

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Sunny skies expected across Lower Mainland this week

After weeks of rain and smoke, Environment Canada forecasts clear skies and steady warm temperatures

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Ridge Meadows Hospital executive director an “out-of-the-box” thinker

Rich Dillon brings years of valuable experience with Vancouver Coastal Health

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read