On February 6, 2020, the B.C. Government announced its intention to implement a new insurance model that is commonly referred to as either “care-based” or “no fault” insurance.
No fault means that if you are injured in a car collision by a reckless driver, that driver is entitled to the same schedule of benefits as you.
A no fault system also means that seriously injured individuals will potentially have a lifelong relationship with ICBC. Rather than having their case resolved with a fair settlement that allows the individual to decide what care they need and when, a no fault system requires the individual (or their family) to go back to ICBC week-after-week, month-after-month, year-after-year, providing evidence that ICBC will alone decide if it is sufficient to get their next treatment or wage loss benefit.
If the insurance adjuster refuses to pay for needed care or wage loss benefits for example, alleging you have a “pre-existing condition”, you are left with no meaningful recourse to challenge that decision through an independent judge or jury. Instead, you are obliged to appeal to the ICBC fairness commissioner, through the Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”), or an ombudsman, all staffed and appointed by the government and ultimately making decisions about the conduct of the government they work for.
No fault schemes result in less damages being paid to those injured on our roads. For example, no damages are paid for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. With no fault, individuals don’t receive damages paid once as a lump sum so they can move on with their lives. Instead, compensation is rationed at the control and direction of an ICBC adjuster.