The recent announcement by the NDP of a complete overhaul of ICBC into no fault insurance is not fully understood by most British Columbians. In fact, the NDP has completely duped the public into believing that this is a good thing.
Only ICBC and the NDP will benefit from no fault insurance.
One of the false and misleading selling points by the NDP is that no fault insurance will result in a 20% reduction in insurance rates. When you think about how much your ICBC insurance has increased over the past few years and, especially, in the past year where rates for most people increased by more than 20%, this really isn’t a savings. In fact, it is smoke and mirrors. A 20% savings will not even put people back to what they were paying for their insurance in 2018 or 2019.
No fault insurance means that ICBC is no longer responsible for compensating you for pain and suffering or for your income loss. Instead, ICBC is now only responsible for providing you with “benefits” such as funding for your rehabilitation (i.e. physiotherapy, massage therapy, etc).
In essence, ICBC no fault insurance is WCB/Worksafe for automobile accidents.
There are several problems with no fault insurance.
First, no fault insurance means that both the at fault driver and the not at fault driver are entitled to the same benefits from ICBC. For example, if you are rear ended by a driver who was texting at the time, you will both have the same benefits from ICBC. There is no distinction between funding provided to both drivers even though the at fault driver was careless and reckless.
Second, ICBC adjusters with no formal medical training or understanding will ultimately make decisions on what benefits you will receive. For example, even if your medical team recommends ongoing physiotherapy, if the ICBC adjuster ultimately disagrees then you will be denied funding. You have no recourse but to go through the ICBC appeal channels where ICBC or a government run (NDP) Civil Resolution Tribunal (which is online) will hear your dispute. There is no independent appeal process. The judiciary (courts) are completely removed from the process. You will not have the benefit of an advocate (lawyer) to help you through the process. In essence, you are on your own to battle a billion dollar corporation (ICBC) who has endless resources to deny you benefits.
Saskatchewan has a no fault insurance scheme. An example of the abuse of power of an insurance company to make whatever unreasonable and baseless decisions they want are outlined in this CBC article. This article reports on a young woman who suffered a serious brain injury which made her incapable of working and how the Saskatchewan government run insurance company denied her disability benefits. This is a perfect example of what will happen in BC with the no fault insurance scheme in which adjusters will make these types of decisions instead of medical professionals.
The NDP want no fault insurance because ICBC will save billions by no longer compensating people for chronic, life altering injuries. These savings are being taken directly from innocent injured victims, not the bad drivers who are responsible, and then given straight to a corporation which, in essence, is the government. This is all from a hypocritical political party who professes to be “for the people” and “for the little guy”.
Has ICBC ever earned your trust to do the right thing? Why trust that it will now when it has unfettered power with no fault insurance?