B.C. Attorney General David Eby announces changes to B.C.’s public insurance system. (B.C. government)

B.C. moves ahead on removing lawyers from ICBC cases

David Eby vows change will increase injury benefits

The B.C. government has introduced changes to Insurance Corp. of B.C. laws that Attorney General David Eby has predicted will lead to a “street fight” with personal injury lawyers over the enormous legal fees they generate suing the corporation.

Eby told the legislature Wednesday his latest amendments will deliver a promised 24-fold increase in the maximum payout for serious disabling injuries, from about $300,000 to $7.5 million, and in some cases even more to cover costs of life-long nursing care.

The new system takes effect in May 2021, and Eby says it will do more than improve care for seriously injured people. He vowed that it will increase wage loss payments by up to 60 per cent and finance a 20 per cent reduction in premiums paid by B.C. drivers next year. Basic ICBC insurance rates are to be frozen after April 1 this year.

The changes are to be financed by continuing the NDP government’s move to divert disputes from court to a new civil resolution tribunal, which already is dealing with smaller disputes. Getting all cases out of court is expected to save ICBC an estimated $1.5 billion in legal fees, courtroom experts and related costs once the changes are in effect.

RELATED: Horgan rejects ‘no fault’ description of new ICBC rules

RELATED: ICBC shifting to Alberta model, private insurers say

The Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. has questioned the independence of the tribunal approach, since its members are appointed by the provincial government and make decisions that directly impact ICBC’s bottom line. Soaring injury claims and legal costs have contributed to a $2.5 billion net loss in ICBC operations over the past two years, forcing the government to transfer money from its general budget to keep the corporation afloat.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada, representing private insurance companies, noted that ICBC’s proposed rate reduction will cost it $713 million in sales revenue. ICBC’s own books show its capital reserves are “significantly depleted” and well below its management and regulatory targets after the years of substantial payouts and losses, IBC representative Aaron Sutherland said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureICBC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kelowna pauses Re-leaf Program after COVID-19 confirmed at local nursery

Tree deliveries are paused until further notice after outbreak confirmed March 31

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

COVID-19: Non-profit 3D printing face shields for local hospital

‘The response has been completely overwhelming’

UPDATE: Outbreak of COVID-19 at West Kelowna agricultural business; 14 cases confirmed

75 workers are in isolation — 63 migrant workers and 12 local workers

Memorial Cup concert with Brett Kissel canceled amid COVID-19 concerns

Brett Kissel was scheduled to perform at Live on Lake in Kelowna on May 30

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Community drums up support for North Okanagan hospital workers

Even health care workers and fellow first responders turned out to show love

South Okanagan first responders salute hospital workers

“You’re awesome” and “Thank you” say RCMP, fire department passing by emergency entrance

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

‘April Fools’ social media prank leads to criminal investigation in Osoyoos

Post claims individuals will be canvassing door to door seeking housing for seasonal workers

Stay inside vehicles on Interior ferry crossings to prevent spread of COVID-19: B.C. government

Glade, Kootenay and Arrow Lakes some of the ferry crossings in Interior

Grocery pickups and other supports available for Shuswap seniors living at home

BC 211 is another way to connect with Shuswap Better at Home program

Most Read