IBC Statement on the Future of Auto Insurance in BC

Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President Pacific, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), issued the following statement:

Today, the BC Liberal Party announced that if elected to form the next government, they will open the province’s vehicle damage market to full competition. This would make British Columbia’s no-fault system – set to come into force in May 2021 – remarkably similar to that of Quebec, a province where injury coverages are provided by the government insurer and vehicle damage coverages are provided by private insurers. Under the Quebec hybrid model, drivers pay an average of $717 for auto insurance – the lowest in Canada – and can shop around to find the best coverage at the best price. That is less than half the $1,500 average premium ICBC projects under its no-fault insurance system.

Under ICBC’s monopoly, BC drivers pay more for car insurance than any other jurisdiction in Canada – be it a public or a privately run system. Canada’s private insurers want to help lower premiums in BC and are committed to working with any government to create a system that works for everyone. Competition is a powerful incentive for any company to deliver the best product at the best possible price. Auto insurance is no exception to this rule.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada


ICBC urges caution over last long weekend of summer

ICBC urges caution over last long weekend of summer

If you’ll be travelling over Labour Day long weekend, ICBC is asking you to share the road and do your part to drive safely.

Every Labour Day long weekend, approximately four people die and 600 people are injured in 2,100 crashes throughout the province.*

The key to sharing the road safely is staying focused on driving and looking out for road users around you. Avoid distractions which will take your eyes off the road and your mind off driving. Police across B.C. are cracking down on distracted drivers as part of this month’s enforcement and education campaign.

Top 4 tips:

  1. If you find it difficult to take a break from your phone while driving, turn it to silent and keep it out of reach and out of sight. You can help keep your family and friends safe by not texting, calling or answering if you know they’re behind the wheel.

  2. Allow at least two seconds of following distance between vehicles in good road conditions, and at least three seconds on high-speed roads. Increase your distance when you’re following a large vehicle such as an RV (it can block your vision) or a motorcycle (it can stop quicker than a car).

  3. With trucks and RVs, keep clear of their blind spots. When following, you should be able to see both mirrors of the RV or truck in front of you. If you’re behind a slow moving RV or truck climbing up a hill, leave extra space and be patient as they’re probably trying their best to keep up with the flow of traffic.

  4. Check road conditions at DriveBC.ca before you leave. Be realistic about travel times and accept delays that may arise. Don’t rush to make up time – slow down to reduce your risk of crashing and arrive at your destination safely. You also save fuel by driving at a steady speed.

Regional statistics over Labour Day weekend:


  • On Vancouver Island, on average, 72 people are injured in 310 crashes every year.

  • In the Southern Interior, on average, 70 people are injured in 320 crashes every year.

  • In the North Central region, on average, 20 people are injured in 110 crashes every year.

  • In the Lower Mainland, on average, 440 people are injured in 1,300 crashes every year.

“Concerning” Affidavit Makes ICBC Benefits Deduction Application Come Up Short

Today’s guest post comes from B.C. injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken

Reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, largely rejecting an ICBC application to have future care benefits from a tort judgment significantly reduced.

In today’s case (Luck v. Shack) the Plaintiff was in a collision and was awarded damages for prolonged injuries including $85,000 for future care costs.  The Defendant argued that much of the services covered by this award can be accessed through ICBC no-fault benefits and asked that the award be reduced by $65,000.  The Court noted ‘concern‘ about ICBC’s affidavit evidence leaving some uncertainty as to whether discretionary no fault benefits would be paid or denied in the future.  In only allowing $3,540 in deductions Madam Justice MacDonald provided the following reasons:

[50]         To answer whether I should deduct the amounts, I must turn to the sworn evidence of the ICBC claims specialist. As stated in Norris at para. 35: “The Court will not presume that the future conduct of ICBC will be other than honourable.” However, Riley J. in Sangha stated that this Court must independently assess the affidavit evidence from the ICBC specialist. Even where an affidavit “irrevocably, unequivocally, and unconditionally” agrees to reimburse the plaintiff for the future benefits, I must analyze this commitment to ensure it is in compliance with the Act and Regulation: Schmitt; Sangha. In Sangha, this Court did not accept the ICBC specialist’s evidence that ICBC would “irrevocably, unequivocally, and unconditionally” pay for certain benefits in the future.

[51]         Ms. Uppal deposed that ICBC accepts this Court’s Judgment regarding Ms. Luck’s treatment needs following the motor vehicle accident. Ms. Uppal deposed that ICBC will “irrevocably, unequivocally, and unconditionally agree to pay, under Part 7” the cost of the future care amounts specified in the Judgment,[2] “up to the amounts allowed pursuant to section 88(1.2) and schedule 3.1 of the Regulation”.

[52]         Despite the above statement, I have concerns with the affidavit evidence because Ms. Uppal does not waive the need for continued medical certification in the Regulation. For example, mandatory and discretionary benefits are limited to the amounts set out in Schedule 3.1 of the Regulation. Ms. Uppal refers to this limitation in paragraph 15 of her affidavit:

  1. I am authorized on behalf of ICBC to advise that ICBC will irrevocably, unequivocally, and unconditionally agree to pay, under Part 7, for the following itemsup to the amounts allowed pursuant to section 88(1.2) and schedule 3.1 of theRegulation, as incurred and submitted to ICBC by the Plaintiff for reimbursement, up to the amounts indicated in the table below… [Emphasis added.]

[53]         Further, Ms. Uppal did not address the s. 88(1.01) treatments, over and above the number of mandatory pre-authorized treatments, that are provided more than 12 weeks after the date of the accident. Ms. Uppal did not refer to waiving the need for continued medical certification.  The affidavits relied upon in Sangha and Wark both waived the need for future medical certification and referred to s. 88(1.01).

[54]         Importantly, Ms. Uppal testified that if there is any uncertainty as to what, if any, Part 7 benefits may be payable to the plaintiff she would look to the Act and Regulation. This statement was not qualified by any reference to her affidavit. 

[55]         The plaintiff points out that funding for a pain management clinic is not provided for as a treatment modality under Part 7 and is not provided for in Schedule 3.1. The defendants argue ICBC will fund the clinical counselling aspect of the pain management treatment. Even accepting this argument, the counselling would take place more than 12 weeks after the accident. It is therefore a discretionary benefit and suffers from the same problem articulated above.

[56]         The defendants bear the onus to prove entitlement to ongoing benefits. Any uncertainty must be resolved in favour of the plaintiff. To prove ongoing reimbursement for benefits, the defendants’ evidence must use precise language. Ms. Uppal’s evidence was not sufficiently precise, especially when combined with her testimony. I adopt Riley J.’s comments in Sangha:

[20(a)] …Thus, while Ms. Sit says ICBC will “irrevocably, unequivocally, and unconditionally” agree to pay all of Ms. Sangha’s previously incurred expenses under as Part 7 benefits, I foresee some difficulty in Ms. Sangha obtaining reimbursement. This is not a criticism of Ms. Sit’s integrity as a duly authorized ICBC representative, but rather a recognition that an insured person may encounter resistance in obtaining benefits where there is apparent inconsistency between ICBC’s presently-stated position and the requirements set out in the Regulations. The ambiguity on this particular point must be resolved in Ms. Sangha’s favour. I would not deduct this amount.

[57]         Based on the above reasoning, Ms. Uppal’s affidavit and testimony do not satisfy me that ICBC has waived the requirements in s. 88(1.01) of the Regulation and the need for ongoing medical certification. Uncertainty persists with respect to these discretionary benefits. I am not satisfied Ms. Uppal’s commitment, especially when viewed in light of her qualifications in oral testimony, overcomes the ongoing conditions in the Regulation.

[58]         The deficiencies in the evidence create uncertainties regarding the future payment of benefits. Any uncertainties must be resolved in favour of Ms. Luck. I am therefore unable to deduct the full $65,000 from the Judgment to avoid double recovery.

[59]         I will deduct an amount from the Judgment based on the benefits for which Ms. Luck can, with certainty, be reimbursed.

bc injury law, Luck v. Shack, Madam Justice MacDonald, Section 83 Insurance (Vehicle) Act

Some temporary COVID-19 support measures to expire

August 7, 2020

With Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan progressing and more British Columbians returning to B.C.’s roads and highways, three of the temporary measures ICBC had introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are now set to expire in the coming weeks.

The B.C. Utilities Commission had approved ICBC implementing the following measures starting April 23 and ending on August 20:

  • waiving of the $30 insurance cancellation charge

  • suspension of fleet vehicle insurance

  • allowance of unlimited deliveries by drivers in non-delivery rate classes

Private passenger vehicles continue to have up to six days per month for delivery use.

Customers are now reinsuring their vehicles at higher than historic levels. Since April 23, 2020, a total of 300,000 new plate policies have been issued for non-fleet customers compared with the approximately 120,000 non-fleet customers who cancelled their insurance policies for the same time period.

As these measures come to an end on August 20, customers are encouraged to talk to their broker to ensure they are properly insured, including those people who are using their vehicle for the delivery of food or medical products and services.

The following measures remain in place at this time, as outlined in regulation:

  • waiving of the $18 re-plating fee

  • waiving of the first knowledge test fee for learner driver’s licence holders whose licence expired during the pandemic

Customers can continue to renew their insurance by phone and email with the help of brokers, and those who are facing financial hardship and who pay for their insurance on a monthly basis still have the ability to defer their payments for up to 90 days with no penalty.

ICBC continues to review its operations to support the safety and well-being of its customers and employees as normal business resumes.

​ICBC & police warn impaired drivers ahead of long weekend

​ICBC & police warn impaired drivers ahead of long weekend

This B.C. Day long weekend, our roads will be busy with some British Columbians choosing to travel throughout the province for a getaway and others visiting local parks and restaurants. No matter what your plans are, if you plan to drink, don’t drive.

Police will be setting up CounterAttack roadchecks across the province to get impaired drivers off our roads. If you’re caught driving impaired, you could end up paying in a number of lasting ways – from increased insurance premiums to fines, car impoundment or even jail time.

On average, four people are killed and 620 people injured in 2,200 crashes across the province over the B.C. long weekend.*

5 ways to stay safe on your road trip:

  1. If you’re away from home, you may not be familiar with all of the options available to get home safely after you’ve had a few drinks. Check your options such as taxis, ride sharing, transit or shuttle services before you head out and save the information into your cell phone so you can relax knowing you have a plan to get home safely.

  2. Most crashes on B.C. Day long weekend occur on Friday so plan to leave on Thursday or Saturday morning if possible to avoid traffic congestion and possible delays. You should also make sure you get a good night’s sleep to avoid getting fatigued behind the wheel. Plan your route on drivebc.ca and include rest breaks or switch drivers every two hours.

  3. Do a pre-trip check and check your engine oil, coolant levels and lights, and inspect your vehicle tires, including the spare, to make sure they’re in good condition and properly inflated. Make sure any camping or outdoor equipment is securely tied down to your vehicle before you take off.

  4. Summer means more motorcyclists on our roads so it’s vital to scan as you approach an intersection. Be ready to yield the right-of-way when turning left and keep in mind that it can be hard to tell how fast motorcyclists are travelling.

  5. Be patient with R.V. drivers if they’re travelling below the speed limit in mountainous areas as they’re likely going uphill as fast as they can. If you’re driving your RV this weekend, be courteous and pull over when it’s safe to do so to let others by. This is much safer than a driver making an unsafe pass out of frustration.

Regional statistics*:

  • Over the B.C. day long weekend, on average, 420 people are injured in 1,400 crashes in the Lower Mainland every year.

  • Over the B.C. Day long weekend, on average, 94 people are injured in 380 crashes in the Southern Interior every year.

  • Over the B.C. Day long weekend, on average, 26 people are injured in 130 crashes in North Central B.C. every year.

  • Over the B.C. Day long weekend, on average, 75 people are injured in 330 crashes on Vancouver Island every year.

* Five-year annual average. Crash and injury data is ICBC data (2015 to 2019). Fatality data is police data (2014 to 2018). B.C. Day long weekend is calculated from 18:00 the Friday prior to B.C. Day to midnight on B.C. Day.

Extensive new ICBC data available to public online

British Columbians can now access comprehensive new data, quickly and easily, as part of ICBC’s commitment to increase transparency, with extensive crash and vehicle population data available on icbc.com.

“Making sure the public is well-informed and supported is a priority,” said Nicolas Jimenez, ICBC’s president and CEO. “We’ll continue to expand the data available on icbc.com to better support customers, researchers, media and stakeholders.”

ICBC is sharing more data publicly in a customizable, convenient format that will make data available to the public in a timelier way. This initiative also supports the B.C. government’s Open Data initiative.

Customers can customize the new data sets or download the data in its entirety.

Vehicle population data includes various fields such as municipality, vehicle type or area based on the first three characters of a postal code. Crash data can be filtered to the details of an individual crash, including the street and crash configuration (for example, rear end, head on or side impact). As an example, users can filter crash data to municipality level by severity, street name and identify whether a pedestrian or cyclist was involved.

More data will be added throughout the year on topics including contraventions and driver licensing.

Quick Statistics, a collection of the most commonly requested statistics provided in a simple view, was previously published as PDFs and is now available in a downloadable, interactive format. Quick Statistics and crash maps have also been updated with 2019 data.

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