If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident with a driver who was not insured, you can still make an ICBC claim, but the process can be a little more complicated.
All drivers in British Columbia are required to take out an insurance policy with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, known more commonly as ‘ICBC’.
Unfortunately there are drivers on our roads who do not have valid insurance. Sometimes these drivers are fully aware that they are uninsured. Other times it is an oversight – for example, their insurance policy lapsed and they forgot to renew it, or they mistakenly believed they were insured on their friend’s policy.
Either way, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured driver, it might cause you some concern. This is because ordinarily, if you are injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, you will pursue a claim against that individual. Their third-party liability insurance will then cover the cost of the claim.
Uninsured driver claims
But where does this leave you if the driver does not have an insurance policy? Or perhaps their indemnity cover is not large enough to cover the cost, meaning the person at fault is underinsured?
Thankfully ICBC recognizes that anyone who is injured in an accident that was not their fault is entitled to compensation, including those who are harmed by an uninsured driver. In such circumstances you can –
- Recover Part 7 benefits (which can also be recovered even if you were at fault for the accident). These benefits cover necessary medical and rehabilitation costs up to $150,000.
- Make a personal injury claim under Section 20 of the Vehicle (Insurance) Act (which is only possible if the other driver was at fault for the accident.
However, your claim will be limited to $200,000, which is the extent of cover provided under a Basic Autoplan policy. If you want to claim more than this, you must try to collect compensation directly from the driver at fault. If the driver cannot pay, you may be able to claim further compensation via the Underinsured Motorist Protection (UMP) scheme.
Nevertheless, this is a complicated process. You must provide proof to ICBC that you have tried to obtain further compensation. There are also strict time limits to adhere to, and ICBC may reduce your Part 7 benefits if you have other insurance policies which will pay out, such as Employment Insurance.
Due to these complexities, it is always recommended that you ask a personal injury lawyer to help you with an ICBC claim, particularly if it involves an uninsured driver. A lawyer will handle the entire claim on your behalf, working to ensure you receive the compensation and benefits you are rightfully entitled to.
If you would like to speak to a lawyer about an ICBC claim, please do not hesitate to contact us at North Shore Law LLP.