I Was Involved In An Accident But The Other Driver Wasn’t Insured – What Are My Options?Jan 24 2019
On your way to work or an appointment, chances are you’ll end up driving past other people who may not have vehicle insurance. While it’s not something that you would normally spend a lot of time worrying about, consider this: what happens if you’re involved in an accident with one of those people? What are your options concerning benefits or compensation, especially if you are injured?
We wrote about the importance of choosing the right car insurance plan in our earlier blog post.
ICBC’s Basic Auto Plan
As in other parts of the country, provincial laws require drivers to carry auto insurance. Here in BC, residents must purchase Basic Autoplan coverage from ICBC, the provincial insurer. The plan ensures a minimum level of coverage and consists of two parts: no-fault benefits and third-party liability coverage.
- No-fault benefits cover medical and rehabilitation benefits up to $300,000 as well as costs relating to disability or death. Every driver in BC with Basic Autoplan coverage is entitled to no-fault coverage benefits, regardless of who was at fault and the insurance status of the other driver.
- Third party liability minimum coverage can be claimed up to a maximum of $200,000* and – for eligible drivers – hit and run coverage up to $200,000. Third party liability coverage also includes Underinsured Motorist Protection (UMP).
Drivers and Accident Claims
There is a legal distinction between what is considered an uninsured driver and an underinsured driver.
An uninsured driver is someone who has no third-party liability insurance. An underinsured driver is one who does not have sufficient third-party liability coverage to pay the full amount of a claim or judgment against him or her.
Since every driver in BC is required to carry Basic Autoplan through ICBC, this means if you are involved in an accident with an underinsured driver, you will still have access to benefits and compensation and can, if necessary, pursue a claim with ICBC through the underinsured motorist provisions, called UMP.
Uninsured motorist provisions
UMP covers you if you have a valid BC driver’s license and/or you own or lease your vehicle and if you are injured whether driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist. Insured people who make claims under UMP are covered up to $1 million.
If you are injured in an accident involving an uninsured driver, you are eligible to recover damages up to $200,000, regardless of whether you are entitled to UMP. If you are also eligible for UMP, the same rules apply as outlined above (up to $1 million).
If you are involved in an accident, you should advise ICBC along with the identity of the driver.
Compensation and Benefits
Similar to other personal injury claims, you would be eligible to recover compensation and benefits related to medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. ICBC may want you to settle the claim right away or elect to pursue it through the courts.
Going through the process of filing a claim can be complex and challenging, since a number of variables can come into play. For example, the uninsured driver may deny involvement altogether and not want to pay any amount. Or perhaps ICBC has indicated that it does not want to pay you the compensation amount you feel you are entitled to receive.
For these, and many other reasons, it is recommended that you enlist the services of a qualified personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate an accident claim involving an uninsured driver. A personal injury lawyer will also ensure that all notice and reporting dates and requirements are followed and met.
If you have been in an accident and the other driver is uninsured we can we can help with that.
*Most BC drivers will “top up” their third-party liability coverage to at least $1 million. This adds an extra layer of security and protection. It can be done through ICBC or other insurance provider.