5 Recent Reforms Related to ICBC Law in Canada

According to a recent announcement, there will be changes and reforms that will affect the financially beleaguered ICBC (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia). The announcement was made by the provincial government.  An ICBC lawyer Vancouver can explain to you more about the reforms. These changes come after ICBC released its latest report that fore-casted that there will be a significant and sizable net loss come the end of the organization’s fiscal year. The net loss was estimated to be close to $1.3 billion.

Part of the statement released by David Eby, the Vancouver, BC Attorney General during the announcements read:

“ICBC is in real trouble, and what we need to do is get ICBC under control. For too long, difficult decisions have been put off and growing financial problems at ICBC hidden from the public. The changes we’re initiating today will reduce ICBC’s claims costs by more than $1 billion every year, helping make it sustainable for decades to come.”

The Attorney General concluded his statement by blaming the previous government. The corporation has been pummeled into financial chaos due to the reckless decisions that were made by the previous administration. ICBC had been created to offer affordable insurance cover for all the Vancouver BC drivers. The new reforms are expected to have a significant impact on motorists, especially when dealing with their insurance coverage after an accident.

Below are the five reforms that are being experienced by the ICBC.

  1. Repayment Cap

The BC government will start capping the payment (pain and suffering payment)  at $5,500. This is the payment motorists are eligible to get when involved in minor motor accidents. From the 1st of April 2019, the cap will be effective.  This means the amount of money being requested for in damages  by an idnividela involved in a minor motor accident will be limited.

  1. Compensation

ICBC will now increase the amount of separate medical benefits  that motorists receive after a car crash. This new compensation is an increase that hasn’t been experienced since 1991. Wage loss payment has been increased from $145 to $280 weekly, funeral costs are will now be $7500 from the previous $2500. Death benefits have also been increased to $30,000 from the previous $20,800. The other medical benefit of care services that are expected to double are: recovering, speech therapy, physical therapy, nursing etc.

  1. Treatment Types

The ICBC will now prepare other common treatment methods that are used, like massage, counselling and acupuncture. A lump sum of money will be moved by the ICBC to the care based model so as to cover for the complete costs.

  1. Injuries

The ICBC will now define minor injuries as anxiety, mild whiplash, sprains, aches, cuts, and bruises. In case these injuries persist for more than 12 months, and greatly affect the daily activities of an individual like going to school or work, then the injury can be redefined to be a major injury and then be placed outside the cap. Major injuries include concussions and broken bones. A medical doctor can also define whether ones injuries are minor or major. During a dispute the ICBC will be using the new civil resolution system to lower the legal costs of the case outside of court. The system is already being used in strata disputes.

  1. Rate Hike

The AG did not speculate on whether these reforms will be able to prevent the $1 billion loss predicted. Therefore, it’s good to brace up for some rate hikes in the future. However the Attorney General did say that there will be more rooms which will include higher rates on consultation for bad drivers, using the red light cameras in catching speeding motorists etc.