Death benefits are available for those tragic accidents resulting in death. There are three types of death benefits:
- funeral/burial expenses,
- one-time payment, and
- support payments.
Death of a Dependent
Because multiple people can be seriously injured in some accidents, ICBC is not required to pay lump sum or support benefits unless the dependent survives the deceased by at least 60 days. If the head of the household and the spouse or any dependent of the head of the household die together, the supplemental survivor benefit is payable only once, being in respect of the death of the head of the household.
Death of the Head of the Household
The “head of the household” is the spouse with the greatest reported income in the 12 months preceding the accident. A household includes everyone who “ordinarily resides in the same dwelling unit”, and for death benefits, it also includes a spouse who no longer resides there, but was legally liable to support the household and provided the majority of the household’s income for the previous 12 months.
ICBC is required to promptly reimburse for burial and funeral expenses not exceeding $2,500. However, ICBC is not liable if the burial/funeral expenses are covered under a medical, surgical, dental or hospital plan or law, or payable by another insurer.
The one-time payment is based on the age and status of the deceased, and ranges from $500 for a dependent child under five years old to $5,000 for the head of a household. This is paid to the spouse or if the deceased had no spouse, the eldest dependent of the deceased. Where the deceased had a spouse and dependents, ICBC is required to pay $1,000 to each of the dependents.
ICBC is also required to pay $145/week to the spouse, or if the deceased had no spouse, to the eldest dependent. All other dependents receive $35/week to each other survivor. These payments continue for 104 weeks or until the spouse/dependents have also deceased.