If you have auto insurance in B.C., you should know that ICBC is changing its insurance model. To better support the recovery of those injured in car crashes, ICBC is shifting its priority to improved care for its injured customers. As a result, it’s increasing its Accident Benefits on April 1, 2019. Here’s what you need to know about the changes to ICBC Accident Benefits.
What are ICBC Accident Benefits?
ICBC provides Accident Benefits as part of its basic auto insurance. These benefits help cover expenses like lost wages, medication, and physiotherapy if you’re injured in a crash – whether or not the accident was your fault.
How are ICBC Accident Benefits Changing?
In an effort to create a care-based insurance model for B.C., ICBC is making substantial increases to its Accident Benefits. To focus on patient care, ICBC is putting significantly more money toward the treatment of those injured in car crashes. Here’s a breakdown of what’s changing on April 1, 2019.
ICBC to Pay More for Treatments
On Jan. 1, 2018, ICBC doubled the limit for medical and physiotherapy costs from $150,00 to $300,000. On April 1, 2019, it’ll also pay more money for most treatments, so those injured in car crashes won’t have to pay out of pocket – even if they were at fault for the crash. This includes an additional $1,000 for medically necessary supplies and treatments.
ICBC to Cover More Types of Treatments
ICBC already covers treatments with general practitioners, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and chiropractors without prior approval. As part of its care-based insurance model, ICBC is expanding this list to include acupuncture, counselling, kinesiology, and massage therapy. Starting April 1, 2019, those injured in a car crash won’t have to get prior approval from ICBC for these types of care.
ICBC to Pay More for Lost Wages
Lost wages can take a significant toll on anyone who has been injured in a crash, and ICBC understands that. On April 1, 2019, ICBC is significantly increasing payments for lost wages from a maximum of $300 per week to up to $740 per week.
ICBC to Pay More for Household Help
Injury from a car accident can make it hard to do everyday things at home, and ICBC is prepared to help with that. For household activities like cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping, ICBC is increasing its benefit from $145 per week to $280 per week.
ICBC to Increase Funeral and Death Benefits
In the case of a fatal car crash, ICBC is improving its funeral and death benefits to help surviving family members. Funeral benefits are going up 200% from $2,500 to $7,500, while death benefits are increasing from about $18,000 to $30,000.
Why is ICBC’s insurance model changing?
To ensure injured customers get the care they need to recover, ICBC is putting more resources toward its Accident Benefits. To offset the cost of these benefits, ICBC is reducing its legal costs by limiting payouts for pain and suffering on minor injuries to $5,500. Since 2000, settlements for minor injuries such as sprains, strains, and stress have risen significantly, and with these claims come hefty legal bills. By limiting payouts for minor injuries, ICBC is able to reduce its legal costs and shift this money toward its improved Accident Benefits.