No, ICBC cannot close your file. ICBC is governed by the protection of privacy legislation prohibiting indiscriminate destruction of personal information. If you have complied with the claim application process the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, ICBC, typically has 30 to 60 days to pay the benefits. Accident Benefits are payable by ICBC, in the case of weekly benefits, within 4 weeks after it receives proof of claim, and in any other case within 60 days after it receives proof of claim.( see Section 101 of the Insurance ( Vehicle) Act Regulations).
There would be no legal reason for the ICBC adjuster to close their file in the two year period following the car accident or within 2 years of the last accident benefits paid. ICBC remains exposed to liability for either paying benefits or paying a third party on behalf of an at fault insured for at least 2 years.
There is no technical reason ICBC would close a claimants injury file as the new ICBC computer mainframe is apparently very robust and the adjuster’s medical calendar for a claimant’s case file is updated automatically when a doctor bills MSP for a car accident related treatment in BC.
There is a difference between denying benefits and closing your file. After ICBC denies benefits your file may no longer be active but will still be open and used by ICBC should you make another claim. The protection of privacy legislation enacted in 1994 has not prevented ICBC from compiling significant banks of personal data on thousands of British Columbian residents.
There are several ways ICBC can deny an injury claim one example is by the claimant’s failure to undergo medical treatment.
Where, in the opinion of ICBC’s medical adviser or vocational adviser and in the opinion of the medical practitioner attending the claimant who is receiving benefits (a) any medical, surgical or other similar treatment is likely to relieve in whole or part the disability of the insured, or (b) a retraining or educational program is likely to assist in the rehabilitation of the insured, ICBC may require the claimant, at the expense of ICBC, to undergo treatment or complete the program.
If a claimant refuses to attend the treatment ICBC may, after giving the claimant at least 60 days’ notice in writing, by registered mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the claimant at his/her last address according to ICBC’s records, terminate payment of accident injury benefits (section 90 (1) B.C. Reg. 335/84, s. 22.)
An ICBC claimant has 60 days to apply to a judge of the Supreme Court for an injunction against ICBC terminating benefits once notice the termination notice is received in writing. Even if an application is not made to a judge, the ICBC adjuster will keep the file notes which will be available to other ICBC representatives connected to the mainframe.
Protect yourself by learning more about how to properly start and maintain your ICBC injury claim.