How Saving a Few Hundred Bucks Could Cost You a Few Hundred Thousand

When you purchase a contract of insurance with ICBC they want to know who the principal operator is going to be. The insurance premiums may vary based on the person’s driving record. It is unfortunately all too common of a problem for people to misrepresent who the principal operator of their vehicle is when insuring the vehicle with ICBC. Doing so is a breach of section 75 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act which reads as follows:

I have unfortunately seen too many examples of people getting into trouble for misrepresenting the principal operator to ICBC. Parents say they are the principal operator when really their kids are or friends claiming they are the principal operator when really their buddy with a few too many speeding tickets is. All this to save a few hundred bucks. This ‘misrepresentation’ can lead to a loss of coverage. This loss of coverage could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt not only to the driver but to the registered owner who claimed they were the principal operator.
The following are a few examples of the potential consequences of breaching a policy of insurance by lying about who the principal operator is:
a. If your car gets stolen ICBC would not have to pay you for this
b. If you are injured in a car crash that is not your fault ICBC will not have to pay you your ‘no-fault’ benefits
c. If you are at fault for a crash and injure someone else ICBC will not indemnify you for the losses you caused. Imagine that you are at fault for a crash that results in serious injury to another motorist. Imagine that the other motorists ICBC injury claim is worth $300,000. You could be on the hook personally for the value of that claim!
The consequences of breaching your ICBC insurance policy far outweigh the benefits of saving a friend or family member a few hundred bucks on their insurance premiums. Being in breach of insurance can have life-long financial consequences on motorists and I have seen these first hand. If you know of anyone who is trying to save a few bucks by misrepresenting who the principal operator of their vehicle is, do them a huge favour. Tell them the consequences before it is too late.

breach of insurance, ICBC claims, icbc injury claims advice, section 75 insurance (Vehicle) Act

Comments (60)

  • What is the definition of “principal operator” and where can I see that refered to in section 75 of the Insurance Act?

  • What is the definition of “principal operator” and where can I see that refered to in section 75 of the Insurance Act?

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ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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