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ICBC Gives No Help to Injury Victims During the Pandemic

Auto monopoly ICBC and Attorney General David Eby are legally pocketing $158 million.

ICBC is keeping the auto insurance savings arising from the pandemic. Mr. Eby reported on May 14, 2020 savings not shared with injury victims or premium payers. ICBC is not legally required to share the COVID-19 savings with the injured, Mr. Eby supports.

Private Auto Companies Return $600 Million- Not for BC

Private auto insurers in Canada are returning up to $600 million to customers. This in the first 90 days of the coronavirus pandemic. ICBC is returning almost nothing. Auto monopoly ICBC also expects to lose up to $1 billion from chosen investments.

NDP now using ICBC’s investment loss as an excuse to eliminate more individual rights and liberties? The law requires injury victims in BC to deal with ICBC after a car accident. Despite the outrage, no person in BC can opt out of the ICBC system. Despite declining value of ICBC insurance coverage, all BC drivers must pay ICBC mandatory car insurance.

All major auto insurers are offering a variety of savings and “stay at home” discounts. Not ICBC. Allstate Canada, for example, has set aside $30 million during the pandemic to help personal auto insurance customers. Cancellation and re-plating fees waived by ICBC saved customers $5 million.

ICBC Discriminates Minor Injury to Keep Our Money

The pandemic appears to have greatly benefited ICBC. They are benefiting from the public health emergency as well. ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of BC, refuses however to share the financial savings of the COVID-19 pandemic. ICBC no longer has a mandate to care about the suffering of the injured. Even when their investment portfolio rebounds, ICBC will not legally have to compensate auto victims for loss of their quality of life.

ICBC’s concern for the pain and suffering of victims has sharply declined since the NDP brought in the ICBC Minor Injury cap. The injury cap discriminates against people injured in auto accidents. ICBC no longer has to value human pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. The NDP have imposed an arbitrary cap of $5,500 on pain and suffering, labeling most seriously injured as minor.

Most ICBC adjusters now appear to give little or no thought to a victims pain and suffering. This is not surprising, given the introduction of the minor injury cap.

ICBC to no Longer Recognize Pain and Suffering of Victims- May 2021

It gets worse, as of May 2021, unless someone can change the course the NDP has charted, auto injury victims will be given no value. That is, ICBC will no longer have to consider a victims pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment or loss of amenities. Guilty drivers will be getting away with maiming and injuring. And ICBC will benefit financially.

The NDP have kept a sliver of compensation for pain and suffering after May, 2021, for criminal conduct. However, the NDP have eliminated the requirement for police to attend at the scene of car accidents. Police can now clear a collision scene, thanks to the NDP, without filing a report, where they think there are “no injuries” and the damage does not exceed $10,000.

It seems that the only goal the current NDP government has for ICBC is to save ICBC, at any cost. The NDP have abandoned the notion that auto insurance was meant to actually compensate the victim by mandating all drivers have insurance. This noble goal, to put victims back to their original financial position, has however been lost to the NDP. The sanctity of human life, the quality of human life has been lost and reduced to a claims cost.

The NDP have overlooked the most important reason we have mandatory auto insurance- to protect and value human life. The value a person ascribes to his or her life may include in addition physical, intellectual, emotional, cultural and spiritual experiences, the engagement of one’s senses, intellect and feelings, meeting challenges, enjoying successes, and accepting or overcoming defeats, forming friendships and other relationships, cooperating, helping others, being part of a team, enjoying a moment, and anticipating the future and remembering the past. This value once given to the human, will be lost to the vehicle.

The fact that ICBC has given no help to injury victims during the COVID-19 pandemic should ring alarms bells within our community. ICBC has truly lost its way. What we need right now, more than ever are people and organizations valuing humanity and promoting human agency. ICBC appears to be doing neither.

The Value of Life: A Personal Injury Lawyer’s Existential Reflections

Tags: ICBC COVID-19 Pandemic Savings

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"Renn A. Holness is a gifted lawyer and author to over 1000 legal blog articles. Married father of two daughters, son of a neurosurgeon and founder of Holness Law Group."

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