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As of May 1, 2021, ICBC's new Enhanced Care coverage comes into effect which introduces significant changes to BC's auto insurance system. At CapriCMW, we're here to help you understand the changes and how they affect you.
Under Enhanced Care, if you disagree with the result of a claim, you can appeal the decision first with your claim representative and their manager. If the matter remains unresolved, the next step would be to undergo ICBC's Claim Decision Review process.
In the event that you have exhausted all options within ICBC and remain dissatisfied with the results, there are external options that you can consider:
A fairness officer will be appointed by the BC government who will be responsible for reviewing and resolving complaints about fairness from ICBC customers. The fairness officer will make recommendations to the board of ICBC and be required to regularly report on the activity of the office. Reports will be publicly available. It is anticipated that this office will be established later in 2021.
Civil Resolution Tribunal
The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) is an administrative tribunal that is independent of ICBC and operates as part of BC's public justice system. You can apply to the CRT to resolve a claim dispute (i.e. disagreement over your benefit entitlement or assessment of fault) and depending on the type of claim, costs range from $75 to $200. You will be assigned a case manager, and where you are unable to come to an agreement, a tribunal member will make a decision.
Disagreements with a CRT decision can be taken to the BC Supreme Court for judicial review.
The BC Ombudsperson investigates complaints about public sector organizations and their administration of programs and services. If you believe you have not been treated fairly and in accordance with applicable legislation, policies and procedures, you can file a complaint and seek help free of charge from the BC Ombudsperson.
When You Can Sue
If you are injured in an accident and the at-fault driver is convicted of certain Criminal Code offences (i.e. impaired driving), you can still sue in a civil claim for damages. You can also sue third parties for damage if their actions have contributed to a crash, such as a pub owner or vehicle manufacturers.
If the crash occurred while you were outside of BC, you will still eligible for all accident benefits under Enhanced Care coverage. However, the laws and regulations in that jurisdiction will apply and you may be able to sue the at-fault driver there for compensation. Conversely, if you are at fault in a crash, you may be sued in that jurisdiction for injuries and financial losses. Optional third-party liability is important in these cases if a claim is launched against you for pain and suffering and wage losses.