Five things to know about ICBC’s new no-fault insurance
ROB SHAW – VANCOUVER SUN
Updated: February 6, 2020
The B.C. government unveiled huge changes to the province’s auto insurance scheme on Thursday with the introduction of a new no-fault system.
Five things to know about the ICBC overhaul
1. B.C. is moving to a full “no-fault” insurance model, which means in most cases you won’t be engaged in a lawsuit after a crash to win damages. Instead, the Insurance Corp. of B.C. will pay money to you directly.
2. Premiums will drop an average of 20 per cent, or $400 annually, starting in 2021, according to ICBC. And ICBC has applied for no change in rates this year, leading up to the drop.
3. The change starts May 1, 2021. In the meantime, the $5,500 cap on pain and suffering claims for minor injuries remains in place, and payments for major accidents will still be hashed out in court.
4. The changes will save approximately $1.5 billion annually, much of which ICBC says will be used to boost the type and length of benefits you receive, such as visits to chiropractors, massage therapy and counselling. New benefits will include compensation for travel, personal care assistants and school fees, among others. For example, payments for lost wages due to a crash will increase to $1,200 a week, from $740. Your doctor, not ICBC, decides what benefits you will receive and for how long.
5. Fault will still be determined in a crash, but only for the purpose of punishing bad drivers through increases to their premiums. No matter who is at fault, everyone will receive the same medical benefits.