If you have an ICBC insurance policy on your vehicle, you are entitled to ICBC Benefits. However, ICBC benefits are also available if you:
- have a BC driver’s licence,
- live with someone who has an ICBC policy or BC driver’s licence,
- are injured while riding as a passenger in an ICBC-insured vehicle, or
- are a pedestrian or cyclist who is struck by a vehicle with a BC plate or unknown plate.
Exhausting Other Benefits
ICBC benefits are – by law – benefits of “last resort”. So even if you qualify for ICBC Benefits, you can only start to claim them after you have exhausted any non-ICBC benefits, including private insurance, disability benefits and EI. However, if the non-ICBC benefits only cover part of the medical expenses or wage loss, you may be able to get a ‘top-up’ from your ICBC benefits.
Electing to Pursue an ICBC Claim Instead of a Worksafe Claim
If you were working at the time of the accident, and you qualify for Worksafe benefits, ICBC is not required to pay you ICBC benefits until you have exhausted your Worksafe benefits. However, you cannot claim Worksafe benefits and pursue your ICBC claim – you have to give up your ICBC claim as a condition for accepting Worksafe benefits. The result is that people who qualify for both ICBC and Worksafe benefits often have to cover their own medical expenses and wage loss while pursuing their ICBC claim. You can still claim medical expenses and wage loss as part of your ICBC claim, but those are only paid at the end of your claim.
Denial of ICBC Benefits for Breach of Policy
If you breach a term of your ICBC policy, ICBC can deny your benefits. This may also be true if you qualify under someone else’s policy and they breach that policy. One of the most common ways that this happens is if you give a false statement to ICBC – including during telephone discussions with ICBC adjusters and while filling out forms for ICBC. If ICBC has found you to be in breach, you can challenge that determination, but you may need to go to court. Even if ICBC is right and you were in breach, you can still claim medical expenses and wage loss as part of your tort claim (e.g. against the driver who caused the accident).