How does ICBC deal with accidents involving out of province vehicles?
Every province has its own rules regarding motor vehicles and insurance. Each province has its own rules for automobile insurance, and those rules apply to all vehicles in that province. But provinces cannot regulate insurers outside of their borders, and vehicles frequently cross borders. This can cause problems if an Alberta vehicle causes an accident in BC. However, out-of-province insurers often agree to be bound by BC rules if their insured vehicles cause an accident in BC, in which case the accident is generally treated like any other ICBC claim.
Necessary Information Needed
If you were injured in an accident caused by an out of province vehicle, it is critical to get as much information as possible – at a minimum, you should get:
- the plate number and province of the vehicle (confirm the renewal date on the plates);
- the name of the insurer and the policy number, as well as the legal name of the person to whom the insurance was issued;
- the legal name and licence number of the driver of the out-of-province vehicle; and
- the current address of the driver of the vehicle (as well as the registered owner, if different).
Must Match BC Coverage
One concern with out-of-province vehicles is that their coverage limits may be much less than the $200,000 required of BC vehicles. However, many out-of-province insurers agree to match ICBC’s minimum coverage. This is very helpful for a pedestrian or a cyclist, as you can claim no fault benefits from the out-of-province insurer even if those are not included in the policy as issued.
Which Insurers Match BC Coverage?
You know that an out-of-province insurer matches ICBC’s minimum coverage if:
- They sell any type of insurance in BC (e.g. home owner’s insurance).
- They have filed a power of attorney and undertaking.
- The Province or State where the policy was issued has a reciprocal arrangement with BC.
If you are unsure, contact us and we can find out if any of the above conditions apply.
Health Care Costs Recovery Act
If you require medical treatment in BC as a result of a motor vehicle accident, and that accident was caused by an out-of-province vehicle, you may need to advance a claim for the cost of that treatment, even though you did not pay for it directly. This is because of a recent law that requires people injured in motor vehicle accidents to seek recovery of health care costs from out-of-province insurers.