If you are injured and the driver or the vehicle is uninsured, you can still recover damages from ICBC. There is a special uninsured motorist fund that provides coverage for damages up to $200,000.
Who Can Claim Damages?
Anyone who is injured by an uninsured motorist on a highway in BC can claim against this fund. Even if you do not reside in BC, or you live here but you do not pay insurance, you can still make a claim. However, if you are not a BC resident, your claim cannot exceed the amount of uninsured motorist coverage that you would have in your home province or state.
Conditions of Coverage
There are two main conditions: (1) the accident must happen on a “highway” in BC (this includes almost any public road), and (2) the accident must not qualify as a hit & run, i.e. you must have some information identifying the driver and/or owner of the vehicle.
Uninsured vs. Breach of Policy
It is important to distinguish an uninsured motorist from an insured motorist who is in breach. If someone driving an uninsured vehicle hits you, that is an uninsured motorist claim. However, if the owner of an insured vehicle hits you and is found to have breached his/her insurance, you have a claim against an insured motorist who is in breach. If the vehicle is insured but the driver or owner is in breach, you can still claim against the full policy. However, if the driver or vehicle is uninsured, your claim is against ICBC’s uninsured motorist fund.
Notify ICBC in Writing
If you are injured by an uninsured motorist, you must notify ICBC in writing. This is done by submitting a form, called a CL42. Although there is no specified time limit, you should submit this as soon as possible once you learn that the driver or vehicle was uninsured. If you do not notify ICBC, any steps you take (including settling the claim) may not be binding on ICBC.
Deductions from the $200,000
If you are entitled to EI benefits, other government benefits, or have received WCB benefits, ICBC may deduct those benefits from the $200,000 payable out of the uninsured motorist fund.
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