There are three categories of ICBC insurance that commonly apply to a motor vehicle accident claim:
- Property damage insurance: this is the policy that covers repairs to your vehicle, as well as incidental expenses such as a rental car while you vehicle is being repaired. You can purchase this insurance from other insurers, not just ICBC.
- No-fault benefits: these benefits cover medical expenses and income replacement. These benefits are part of your ICBC coverage, and they extend to members of your household.
- Third-party liability insurance: this policy compensates other people (i.e third parties) for injuries or property damage if you cause or contribute to an accident. ICBC is the sole provider of third-party liability insurance in BC, and if you are injured by another vehicle, it is their ICBC policy that you claim against when you make a tort claim.
What are the terms of my policy?
Unlike private insurance, the terms of ICBC’s policies are largely set out in two pieces of legislation: the Insurance (Vehicle) Act, RSBC 1996, c. 231 and the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation, B.C. Reg. 447/83. There may also be terms of your policy that are specific to you, and these should be provided to you when you purchase or renew your insurance with ICBC. When hiring an ICBC lawyer, you should bring these documents if you believe that there may be coverage issues or you are concerned that you may have breached your policy.
How much money is available?
For no-fault benefits, everyone has the same policy: you are covered for certain medical expenses and income losses, up to $150,000. For third-party liability insurance, every vehicle in BC has at least $200,000 of coverage, and responsible vehicle owners often have $2 million (or more) in coverage.
What else does ICBC cover?
In addition to the three types of policies listed above, ICBC provides coverage for hit & run accidents (up to $200,000), uninsured drivers (up to $200,000), and underinsured drivers (at least $1 million, with more if you purchased additional coverage).
Who is not covered by ICBC?
While every vehicle owner who resides in BC must purchase third-party liability insurance from ICBC, some organizations are exempt. If your accident was caused or contributed to by a federal government vehicle, a police vehicle, a municipality or an out-of-province vehicle, your claim may not be against ICBC, or you may have both an ICBC claim and a claim against another organization.