ICBC Insurance and Us

ICBC insurance is what you need if you’re a driver insured in British Columbia. Whether you like it or not, you’re a customer of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).                                           

ICBC is the corporation in charge of providing British Columbians with basic auto insurance coverage.  Autoplan is ICBC’s basic insurance package and it can be purchased from Insurance Brokers across British Columbia, providing you with:

  1. third-party liability up $200,000;
  2. accident benefits for wage loss, medical costs, and out-of-pocket expenses;
  3. under-insured motorist protection up to $1,000,000 (in case you get hit by someone who doesn’t have insurance.  An event that’s more common than you might think.); and
  4. inverse liability coverage (which protects you in areas of the United States and Canada where the law might not allow you to bring a claim against the person responsible for your crash.)

If you’re looking for even greater protection, ICBC offers more comprehensive auto-insurance, on top of its basic coverage.  For example, ICBC’s third party liability coverage can be increased to $5,000,000 or your under-insured motorist protection to $2,000,000. 

If you have ICBC coverage and you are injured in a motor vehicle accident for which you are not responsible, then, generally speaking, ICBC will have to compensate you for your damages. 

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Types of Damages

There are numerous types of damages that ICBC insurance may have to compensate you for.  The following list includes some, but not all, of the major categories of damages dealt with in a personal injury claim: 

1) Non-Pecuniary (or General Damages): non-pecuniary damages are meant to satisfy your intangible losses: pain, suffering or loss of enjoyment of life (basically, it is a way of giving you funds because of how much your injuries suck!). This amount will depend on the particular facts of your case. For example, a broken leg for a professional marathon runner athlete will mean more in terms of compensation than a broken leg for a government lawyer. 

2) Special Damages: special damages are a broad category of damages that cover your reasonable out-of-pocket expenses associated with the accident.  Examples of special damages include: prescription medication, physiotherapy visits, mileage to visit your doctor, and the like. 

3) Wage Loss (Past and Future): Damages for lost wages cover you for work days you’ve missed because of your accident.  In more serious cases, you may be able to claim damages for wage loss into the future if the accident has limited your ability to earn income. 

4) Cost of Future Care: If you’ve suffered an injury that will require treatment in the future, you may be entitled to have those treatments covered. 

ICBC Insurance - You Are Covered, Even When It's Your Fault!

If you have ICBC insurance coverage and you are in a motor vehicle accident for which you are responsible, then, generally speaking, ICBC will be required to pay for - and manage - your legal defense.  This means that, if you are at fault in a collision and the other driver sues you for damages, ICBC is responsible for your legal defense. What is great about this is that if we, as drivers, make a mistake (and sometimes we do), we don't have to worry about losing our assets if we are sued. To top it all off, even if you caused an accident, ICBC may still have to reimburse you for your reasonable medical expenses caused by the accident. 

Written by Chris Dawson, former articled student, now Dad, lawyer, and all around good guy.

Hemminger Law Group Westshore - Lawyers with heart! Providing Family law and Personal Injury law services to the Westshore and beyond (Langford, Westshore, Colwood, View Royal, Sooke, and Victoria)!