Insurance Benefits for Accident Victims

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This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Krista Prockiw, ICBC in February 2024.

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can have a serious impact on your health, as well as your wallet. Insurance benefits can help ease the financial burden.

Common questions

What are “no fault” insurance benefits?

“No fault” insurance benefits refers to support that’s available to all parties involved in an accident in British Columbia, regardless of who was responsible (“at fault”). The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), which provides universal auto insurance to British Columbians, uses a no fault insurance model, called “enhanced care.” Enhanced care is included in basic Autoplan insurance coverage. Everyone who owns a motor vehicle in BC must have this basic coverage from ICBC.

What type of benefits are available through basic Autoplan coverage?

There are a range of accident benefits available through ICBC’s basic Autoplan coverage. Included are enhanced accident benefits, which can help you with the cost of medical care and rehabilitation if you’re injured in an accident. You may also be entitled to wage loss benefits, if you’re unable to work due to an injury from a crash.

Other benefits available to those hurt in an accident include:

  • financial support if you’re an unpaid caregiver
  • personal care assistance if you can’t care for yourself
  • a lump sum payment if you sustain a permanent impairment

For a closer look, see the People's Law School page on insurance benefits for accident victims.

My car was totalled in a crash and the other driver was found to be 100% at fault. Can I sue them?

Generally, no. Under ICBC’s no fault insurance model, accident victims cannot sue the at fault driver for compensation. Instead, your own insurance will cover you. ICBC’s basic Autoplan insurance includes up to $200,000 of basic vehicle damage coverage. This covers repairs to your vehicle when the other driver is found to be at fault.

ICBC also offers optional new vehicle protection coverage. With this coverage, if your vehicle isn’t repairable you’ll have the choice of:

  • replacing it with a new model
  • replacing it with a different vehicle of equal value
  • taking a cash payout

I bought car insurance from a private company. What do I do if I’m involved in a crash?

If only your vehicle was damaged in the accident, report it to your private insurer. You’ll have to report it to ICBC as well if:

  • there was an injury
  • another vehicle was involved
  • there was damage to someone else’s property

An ICBC claims agent may need to negotiate with an agent from the private insurer, so it could take a bit longer than usual to settle the claim.

I want to use my car to drive for a ride-hailing service. Do I need a special type of insurance?

No. ICBC sells a blanket insurance certificate directly to the ride-hailing company, not individual drivers. This blanket insurance provides basic coverage to drivers, and is mandatory for ride-hailing companies. You and your passengers will be covered when:

  • you have accepted a trip using the app
  • you are en route to pick up a passenger
  • you are transporting a passenger

This basic insurance includes coverage for enhanced accident benefits and third party liability of up to $1,000,000. See ICBC’s website for details.

When does my insurance expire? Do I have until the end of the day to renew?

You have until midnight on the expiry date to renew your insurance.

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