Introduction to ICBC Automobile Insurance (12:I)

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This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on August 1, 2023.

As of May 1, 2021, ICBC switched to a primarily no-fault system. This represents one of the biggest changes to the ICBC insurance system since its inception.

Under the former ICBC system, claims were handled through a mix of litigation and no-fault benefits. This meant that, while certain benefits were awarded regardless of the fault of the parties, in other situations one party in an accident would need to take the other party to court in order to gain access to compensation through the other party’s insurance. Under the new system, the vast majority of all claims are handled on a no-fault basis, with some limited exceptions.

The new no-fault system means that insured parties will file a claim directly with ICBC in the vast majority of cases, and will be compensated for injuries directly by the insurer, regardless of whether or not they were at fault. ICBC will still internally assign fault to the parties when assessing claims in order to determine changes to premiums, but fault will not need to be shown to access injury compensation.

All claims for accidents occurring on or after May 1, 2021 are subject to this new no-fault system, known as Enhanced Care. Parts III - VII of this chapter outlines benefits under this new system. However, because this chapter was written in June of 2022 (shortly after the introduction of the Enhanced Care system), please be aware that ICBC may make changes and clarifications to the system as they roll it out that are not reflected in this manual.

The new Enhanced Care system does not apply to claims for accidents that occurred on or before April 30, 2021. For claims that occurred before this date, please see Parts VIII onwards of this chapter, which outlines the former system as it existed prior to the introduction of Enhanced Care.

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