British Columbia has public insurance, exclusively through the ICBC (the Insurance Company of British Columbia) . This means the provincial government is responsible for issuing and regulating automobile insurance policies for the citizens of that province.
British Columbia has no-fault liability rules. This means an automobile insurer will pay certain benefits prior to determining who was liable and the parties cannot sue one another in court for a civil claim (usually negligence).
Within the first 12 weeks after your accident, ICBC must pay for all reasonable and necessary expense for medications and therapy subject to the following preapproved rates for treatment:
If the injured party requires more treatment than the maximum pre-approved allowance or requires treatment more than 12 weeks after the accident, the treatment is deemed “not a necessary health care service” unless ICBC’s medical advisor or the claimant’sphysician “certifies to ICBC in writing that, in the opinion of the medical advisor or physician, the treatment is necessary for the claimant. Some providers will direct bill ICBC, but if they do not, claimants must submit receipts within 180 days of the treatment to be reimbursed.
to and from necessary crash-related medical appointments and treatments (like bus, gas, parking, taxi, air travel, etc.).
From the scene of the accident to the hospital are covered.
Out-of-pocket expenses for family members or friends visiting a close relative who has been hospitalized and is in critical condition, are covered up to $4,974 for one person or $2,487 for two people.
CBC may pay for a variety of treatments if they are likely to primate the rehabilitation of the claimant, however there is significant discretion involved on the part of the adjuster regarding coverage limits. Possible rehabilitation benefits include:
This benefit covers income that you lost because of injuries you sustained in the accident. 90% of your net income, minus any amounts payable from other sources, and based on a maximum yearly insurable income amount of $100,000. If the claimant is employed at the time of the accident, or have worked at least 50% of the previous year, they are entitled to payments for lost wages if their injuries prevent them from working. This coverage is subject to a 7-day waiting period, although this waiting period is further extended if the claimant is entitled to employment benefits, private disability plans, or a sick bank at their employer. It is a best practice to apply for Employment Insurance immediately after the time of an accident to minimize the waiting periods, especially in the case where employment insurance denies the claim as this will reduce the overall waiting period for the wage benefits from ICBC.
Available for injuries resulting in permanent impairment of 20% or more. The amount is determined by the percentage of impairment, and ranges from $500 - $4000 every two years.
“Children” being defined as anyone under 19 at the time of the accident, there is an income replacement benefit available if they are employed, or a lump sum benefit for any school year a child was not able to complete because of injuries from the crash. Subject to the following limits:
“Student” being defined as anyone attending secondary or post-secondary school at the time of the accident, Students will receive a lump sum for each school year they aren’t able to complete because of injuries relating to the crash in the amount of $10,550 per year of secondary school, and $21,100 per year of post-secondary school.
If you were caring for people (like children under the age of 16, or people who are unable to hold any employment) and are now unable to because of the accident, the caregiver benefit is calculated as follows.
If you hire someone to take over your caregiving duties, you can request approval for actual related expenses.
This covers expenses related to hiring someone to care for you for injuries sustained in a crash, preventing you from taking care of yourself. These include dressing yourself, preparing food, cleaning, etc. This covers you up to $6,000 per month for the severe injuries and $10,000 per month for those requiring 24/7 care.
If you sustain a permanent impairment, including scarring or disfigurement as a result of the injuries you sustained in a crash, your benefits cover you in a lump sum according to the following chart. (Examples of Catastrophic injuries include quadriplegia, paraplegia, severe brain injury, loss of vision or limbs, etc.) Up to $264, 430 depending on the severity of the impairment.
Death benefits for a head of household, a surviving spouse, common law partner, and/or a surviving dependent start at a minimum $68,863 and increase based on the deceased’s gross yearly employment income and age.
Covered up to $9,386 (per deceased, including taxes).
Covered up to $9,386 (per deceased, including taxes).
If you have other benefits that may cover your treatments, most insurance policies require that you fully utilize those benefits before claiming benefits under the insurance policy.
Talk with your adjuster to confirm, but in general the order of priority is to claim any work benefits first, then government benefits, then insurance policy benefits.
Read or download Your Guide to Enhanced Accident Benefits - English (icbc.com) from the ICBC website.
You can also view a copy of the full Products and coverage (icbc.com).
You can also contact ICBC directly by phone:
Toll free in B.C., Canada and the U.S. - 1-800-663-3051
Lower Mainland - 604-661-2800 Or visit ICBC Online.
If you have further questions about this process, or your benefits, contact your claims adjuster.
If you do not know who your claims adjuster is, contact the insurance company.
You can also contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada at 1-844-227-5422 or the General Insurance Ombud service at 1-877-225-0446.