Recent changes I have been involved with to ensure the financial stability and sustainability of ICBC, as well as affordable car insurance rates for British Columbians, have generated protests at my office from the Trial Lawyers Association of BC. These changes are non-negotiable. We simply can’t afford the current model – reforms are long overdue and have taken place in every other province in Canada except BC. ICBC lost $900m last fiscal period, and is on track to lose $1.3bn this year.
Despite my opinion that these changes need to happen, I tabled the lawyers’ petition that protest passed on to my staff in the Legislative Assembly as a gesture of recognition of their concerns. Nobody is happy that these changes are necessary, or that they have to be done in such a compressed time period because of long-standing neglect.
In happier news, people injured in a traffic crash on or after Jan. 1, 2018, are now eligible for up to $300,000 from ICBC toward their medical care and recovery, up from a previous maximum of $150,000.
This improvement will help the 35 British Columbians on average each year who are catastrophically injured in crashes, and face lifetime care expenses that would have exceeded the previous limit. In addition to wage loss and medical appointments, accident benefits can cover extraordinary supports, such as home care, wheelchairs and vehicle upgrades for accessibility.