Hospital Insurance Program Payments Non-Deductible Under UMP
In my continued efforts to create a searchable UMP Claims database, I summarize a 2009 UMP Decision which dealt with a variety of issues including whether payments received under BC’s Hospital Insurance Program are deductible by ICBC in Underinsured Motorist Claims.
In the 2009 case of APS v. ICBC the Claimant was severely injured in a 2004 collision in Nevada. She was a BC resident and had UMP Coverage with ICBC. Following the crash and initial treatment in the US the Claimant was airlifted back to BC and received further hospital treatment. The cost of these totalled $197,263. ICBC argued that the cost of these treatments were in the nature of insurance benefits and deductible under Section 148.1(1) of the Insurance (Vehcle) Regulation. Arbitrator Boskovich disagreed and provided the following helpful reasons rejecting this argument:
130. The services and benefits covered under out universal compulsory medical coverage, which are incurred in almost every under insured motorist action, cover amounts paid in the past and those to be paid in the future. Given the catastrophic nature of many of the cases that result in UMP Claims the costs are often considerable. Had the Legislature intended for UMP awards to be net of these services and benefits then it would have specifically provided for such a deduction in clear and unambiguous terms in the legislation.
131. Having regard to the nature and extent of the evidence tendered and to the overall statutory intention of Subsection 148.1(1) of the Regulations, I do not find the Hospital Insurance Program payments to be an applicable deductible amount pursuant to paragraph (i). As stated above, had the Legislature intended such potentially considerable deductions to come into play it would most certainly have specifically stated so.
132. If I am wrong about the above, I still find having regard to the wording of subsection (i), that such amounts would not be payable to the insured as a benefit or right and claim to indemnity. They do not represent pecuniary payments of a like nature for which the Claimant is claiming compensation pursuant to the tortious conduct of the underinsured motorist and which would have been recovered thus resulting in double recovery.
This case is also worth reviewing for some of the other finding made with respect to deductible beneifts. The Claimant’s husband died in the same collision and as a result the Claimant received some modest compensation through a Family Compensation Act action and through varioius insurance benefits. Arbitrator Boskovich made the following findings with respect to other deductible amounts:
1. If a Claimant received damages under the Family Compensation Act from the collision in question then those can be deductible in an UMP Claim even if underlying action dealt exclusively with the Claimant’s personal tort claim.
2. ICBC Part 7 Death Benefits paid from the deceased’s Part 7 benefits to the Claimant are deductible in an UMP Claim.
3. A CPP Death Benefit paid directly to the claimant is deductible in an UMP claim.
4. CPP and private survivor’s pension benefits are deductible in an UMP claim with the limitation that these deductions should be calculated on the basis of the natural life expectancy of the claimant.