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VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Insurance Corp. of B.C. (ICBC) has appointed a former Chief Justice of the B.C. Supreme Court as its new fairness commissioner.

Bryan Williams’ new duties will include helping customers resolve disputes with the corporation. He will review customer complaints about the fairness of decisions or actions taken by the insurer.

According to ICBC, these complaints could range from simple displeasure over staff behavior to disagreements over liability assessments.

“Where people are dissatisfied … I can offer them a completely independent look [at] whether fairness took place or not,” Williams says.

“It’s a rather ombudsman-like function, but it doesn’t replace any of the functions that are there now.”

Although part of the reason to have a fairness commissioner is to save ICBC money contesting cases (ICBC estimates the average cost is about $8,500), Williams’ time isn’t cheap; he will be paid $300 an hour.

“For someone of Mr. Williams’ stature … it’s a fairly low hourly rate,” says Steve Heather, manager of ICBC’s Fair Practices Review complaints department said.

Critics of the ICBC’s performance point out Williams may have been brought onboard due to declining customer satisfaction. He takes over the position Mar. 1.

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