BC government announces $5500 cap on minor injury claims by ICBC


Additionally, the attorney general said for the first time in 25 years ICBC will make improvements to accident benefits, increasing the care available for anyone injured in a crash, regardless of who was at fault.

"British Columbia is the last province in Canada to take this kind of action", he said.

The changes, he added, will amount to a projected $1-billion decrease in ICBC's annual claims costs, even with the increase in accident benefits, by reducing the insurance company's legal fees and expenses.

Another change includes the overall medical care and recovery cost allowance being doubled to $300,000.

The Insurance Corporation of B.C. will put a $5,500 cap on pain and suffering payouts for people who sustain minor injuries in a crash, one of a suite of reforms announced by the province's Attorney General today with the goal of preventing rate increases and easing the "financial chaos" faced by the province's public insurer. The change will be made retroactive to January 1, 2018. It is expected to include strains, sprains, mild whiplash, aches and pains, cuts and bruises, with cases to be determined by medical professionals independent of ICBC.

Jane Dyson, executive director of Disability Alliance B.C. said her organization has been advocating for increased support for seriously injured people for more than a decade. "We're going to make ICBC work for people again". "These proposals mean more money for treatments and that more types of treatments will be covered".

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Eby said the settlement limit on injury claims will not take effect until April 2019, as part of legislation to be introduced by the NDP government.

"The system is disconnected from driver behaviour", he said.

Eby also announced ICBC will consult with customers on major revisions to its rate structure, looking to ensure bad drivers pay more while good drivers pay less.

ICBC said the "sizable and significant loss" is evidence of the growing financial pressures from a rapid increase in the number of collisions in the province, as well as the rising costs of those claims.

Minor injury claims now represent 60 per cent of injury claims, up from 30 per cent in 2000.

"These changes mean that a larger share of our public insurance funds will go directly towards helping British Columbians who suffer accidents recover from their injuries", he said in a statement.