Minor accident cap could help ease pressure on ICBC

Published: December 2, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) continues to look for ways to secure itself financially. The government of B.C. is now considering putting an insurance cap on claims on minor automobile collisions in an effort to help the cash strapped crown corporation.

Also up for change is a potential increase of the eligible amounts for physiotherapy and other medical benefits. David Eby, the provincial Attorney General and the minister in charge of ICBC says the cap on minor claims will be among the key reforms that will help the company avoid raising auto insurance premiums.

A review into the public insurers was published last summer. It found the ICBC is in financial trouble and would have to raise auto insurance rates by at least 30% just to break even. Eby has said that will not happen and has been searching for other reforms to ease the pressure on the ICBC.

“We’re looking at caps on minor pain and suffering awards, because there’s been an explosion in the size of awards people receive for minor whiplash and minor injuries,” he told Vancouver Sun in an interview. “It’s a very significant piece of the portfolio of reforms we’re looking at.”

ICBC board chair Joy MacPhail explained a cap to minor claims has worked for other provinces and states.

“We’ve also made it clear if one is involved in a catastrophic crash where there’s huge injuries suffered, that the tort system will still apply and one will be able to litigate those kinds of claims,” she said.