ICBC Injury Claims, Breach of Insurance and the Health Care Costs Recovery Act
Further to my previous posts on the BC Health Care Costs Recovery Act (click here for background information) I recently received clarification from the Ministry of Health Services about their position regarding the HCCRA’s applicability to ICBC Injury Claims where the Defendant is insured with ICBC but in breach of their policy.
After settling a recent claim ICBC’s lawyer and I requested clarification as to whether the Act applied.
I contacted Barbara Carmichael, a lawyer with the Legal Services Branch of the Ministry Attorney General. Ms. Carmichael explained that the Governments position is that the HCCRA does not apply to these claims because Defendants in breach of insurance have an effective policy in place at the time “the injury is caused” thereby triggering the exception set out in 24(3)(a) of the Act.
Ms. Carmichael further explained that in cases where a Plaintiff is injured by an unidentified motorist or by an uninsured motorist (as opposed to a breached motorist) the Ministry takes the position that the HCCRA does apply. (Click here to read my previous post discussing the HCCRA and Breach of Insurance situations where I conclude that it appears the Act applies but question whether any money needs to be paid under the HCCRA given the statutory deductions under s. 106 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation). It will be a welcome development if the BC Supreme Court gets a chance to address this issue and clarify the application of the law in uninsured and unidentified motorist situations.
I hope the above information is of value to other BC injury lawyers or people prosecuting their own claim where the Defendant is alleged to be in breach of their policy of insurance with ICBC.