As we have discussed in prior blog articles, the NDP’s No Fault ICBC insurance has been touted as a perfect fix to a broken ICBC system. The NDP have spent millions of dollars on advertising to convince British Columbians that this is a great new system that will save them money on their car insurance. The NDP have gone to great lengths to disparage personal injury lawyers who advocate for the injured against ICBC. Your provincial government’s strategy has been to criticize and demonize personal injury lawyers while claiming that ICBC is in dire debt (dumpster fire). Think about this – if ICBC truly treated people fairly and reasonably, why would anyone need a personal injury lawyer? The reality is that ICBC historically has not treated people fairly when they do not have a personal injury lawyer to advocate for them. This is why personal injury lawyers are in need.
The NDP went on to justify bringing in No Fault Insurance because ICBC was in a financial crisis. The reality is that ICBC was never truly in a financial crisis as a result of legal claims. The so-called dumpster fire was caused by ICBC and the years it spent mismanaging claims. The mismanagement is overwhelming – fighting uncontroversial issues in court, delaying resolving claims unnecessarily for years, blatantly ignoring compelling evidence of disability and making offers to settle that are unreasonably low and unjustified on the evidence.
Instead of fixing ICBC’s broken system and replacing the management that is responsible for this mess, the NDP immediately went on the offensive against personal injury lawyers to justify the change. Why did the NDP not try to replace the very management that sunk ICBC? Why not fix ICBC’s policy around settling claims that has clearly not been working? No, that would be too rational and logical. Instead, the NDP decided to strip the rights of injured British Columbians instead. ICBC management are still in place and collecting bonuses.
Since being elected, the NDP has slowly stripped the rights of the injured. First, the NDP brought in the minor injury caps which apply to most claims in April 2019 which was to save ICBC money. At the time, the NDP announced that ICBC was almost a billion dollars in debt. Within 1 year after bringing in the minor caps and 1 year BEFORE no fault insurance/enhanced care came into effect, ICBC magically made a profit in excess of 1 billion dollars. Enhanced care was supposed to turn ICBC around. Funny that the turnaround happened quickly within a year without Enhanced Care being in effect. What an amazing turnaround! Instead of stopping there because there is no need for No Fault Insurance given the amazing profits reaped with the minor injury caps, the NDP followed through with their plans. From this, we can see that this was never about fixing ICBC. This was about bringing in huge profits for ICBC and in turn for the NDP. With No Fault Insurance (Enhanced Care), there is no compensation for injuries or the devastating impact injuries have on people’s lives and careers. Instead, ICBC will cover the cost of your treatment and provide disability benefits IF you meet certain criteria. These disability benefits do not replace 100% of your income. Instead, they are a percentage of it.
ICBC’s new mantra with No Fault Insurance is “The care you need, for as long as you need it”. The reality is that this is not happening. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you must deal with an ICBC adjuster who has the unfettered authority to decide whether or not your treatment will be funded by ICBC. If you disagree, good luck navigating the system to appeal or overturn a decision. How concerning is it that your future rests on an ICBC adjuster? As seen by this recent case, even our Supreme Court judges are critical of the reality of ICBC’s Enhanced Care system.
After bringing in more than a billion dollars in profit during the 2020/2021 fiscal year, the NDP then gave British Columbians 20% off their car insurance! Wow – what a deal! This is a fraction of the profit ICBC brought in. Now that No Fault Insurance is now in effect, the profits will be mind blowing. These huge ICBC profits will undoubtedly be used to “balance the budget” on the backs of the injured.
Now that No Fault Insurance (Enhanced Care) is in effect, we are starting to hear the harsh reality of this new system. There have been a number of news articles which have highlighted this ridiculous system and the impact it is having on British Columbians:
- Crash Victim says ICBC’s Enhanced Care Model is falling short
- Vancouver Cyclist Charged $3,700 for damage to the car that ran a stop sign injuring him
- BC Couple Injured in Serious Crash Feel Left Behind by ICBC’s New Insurance Model
- BC Man Struck by Car Says No Fault Insurance System “Just Doesn’t Make Sense”
We expect there to be more and more tragic stories to tell…