What if the person who injures you does not have enough insurance? 

If you are injured in an accident, ICBC will usually pay you money (so long as you are not at fault).  What many people do not realize is that ICBC pays you from the other driver’s insurance policy.  For example, if your car is rear ended by a guy named Harry, and you are injured, ICBC will pay you from Harry’s insurance policy. 

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But, what if Harry only has a little bit of insurance?  For example, if Harry only has a basic policy of $200,000 for injuries, and you have very serious injuries that would entitle you to a million dollars, what are you to do?

In an even worse case scenario, what if Harry has no insurance?  What can you do?  Will ICBC still pay you?

The short answer is “probably”. In British Columbia, ICBC has a program called “underinsured motorist protection” (a.k.a. “UMP”), which protects most people against these situations.  UMP gives most people in BC an extra one million dollars they can access if the party does not have adequate insurance. However, not everyone is entitled to it.  You can access UMP if the following applies:

    • You have a valid BC driver’s license, or
    • You own a vehicle insured by ICBC, or
    • You live with a family member who has a valid BC driver’s license or an ICBC insured vehicle, or
    • You were a passenger in a vehicle insured by ICBC at the time of the crash

Once those requirements are satisfied, the injured party must then participate in a special formal procedure calledan “UMP arbitration”. The UMP arbitration is a formal process similar to a trial, in that it has its own special rules and procedures, witnesses may be called, and so on.  As part of UMP, ICBC is also allowed to deduct certain amounts from your award or settlement.  For example, if you have an UMP case, ICBC can deduct from your settlement for employment insurance benefits received, short-term or long term disability benefits received, or treatment costs paid by ICBC or an extended health provider.  They can even deduct money that you may likely be paid in the future, which can include disability benefits from CPP or a private insurance plan.  In other words, an UMP case can really eat into money you would otherwise get if the other party had enough insurance to cover your injuries. 

In short, navigating UMP is a complicated process requiring legal expertise. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident and you suspect there is not enough insurance to pay the injured party’s claim, please consult the advice of a lawyer. 

Vancouver ICBC Claims Lawyer
10+ years ICBC injury claim settlement experience:
No fees until you get paid
Call us today for a free consultation, 24 hours – 7 days a week 604-684-4300

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