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Enhanced Care – What you need to know

May 21, 2021
Auto Insurance, Insurance

Enhanced Care – What you need to know

On May 1st, ICBC rolled out the new Enhanced Care Insurance program.  While there has been a lot of discussion in the news about the impact the changes will have; there are some important components that consumers should know. First off, this type of insurance coverage is not new to Canada, this model is used in other provinces such as Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  It is commonly known as No Fault Insurance.

The fundamental change in your auto insurance coverage will see ICBC shift to recovery care and well being when accidents occur causing injury.  Enhanced Care will see the end of financial settlements and legal proceedings unless a criminal offence occurs causing the accident.    

So what is changed for BC drivers?

Old System New System
Yearly Rate IncreasesDrivers can save with a more stable rating system
Limits on care and recoveryNo limits on care and recovery
Limits on wage loss – Maximum is $740 per weekNow eligible for up to 90% of net income for wage loss payment
Future care paid for in a one-time settlementCare paid for as long as required
25-33% of settlement costs go to your lawyer100% of care benefits and compensation go to you
Can sue for compensation if not at faultNo legal action – unless accident is a result of a criminal act

Source: https://enhancedcare.icbc.com/why-and-how#how-are-changes-possible

Who is eligible?

All BC residents now have access to enhanced care if they are injured or killed in accident in Canada or the USA. Non-BC residents have access to Enhanced Care benefits if they are injured or killed in BC and if they are on an occupant of or are struck by a BC Insured vehicle

What is Enhanced Care Coverage?

There are five categories that make up the Enhanced Accident* benefit coverage.  They are:

  1. Healthcare, Rehabilitation and related expenses for catastrophic or minor injuries
    1. Includes Must Pay benefits such as Medical and Paramedical, Personal Care assistance, Travel, meals and accommodations and Prosthesis and Orthosis
    1. Includes May Pay benefits such as Rehabilitation, Recreational benefits, and other expenses
  2. Income Replacement up to 90% of your net income up to $100,000 while disabled from working.
    1.  If you require more, you can top up this amount to your current net income level
    2. Want to learn more? Check out Income Replacement  
  3. Permanent Impairment benefit that provides lump sum payments to those that suffer permanent injuries for certain classes of injuries
  4. Death benefits that provide lump sum payments to surviving family members along with funeral expenses and counselling services
  5. Caregiver, Student and Retirement benefits to provide financial support to those injured in an accident

*This is a summary of the new enhanced care benefits, for full coverage details and information, visit https://enhancedcare.icbc.com/care-and-coverages to learn more or speak with your Allwest Insurance Broker

ICBC also put steps in place to help claimants when they feel they are being treated unfairly.  This includes new legislation requiring ICBC to advise and assist every British Columbian with their claim and inform claimants of their benefits to which they are entitled and how to access them.

Claimants also have the ability to appeal any decision to a fairness officer, Civil Resolution Tribunal and if needed, the BC Insurance Ombudsperson.

Rates are going down:

As mentioned in the media, auto insurance rates will also be going down and in many cases consumers are seeing those savings now.   ICBC has provided tools and calculators to demonstrate potential savings in the new model.  Check out this calculator to see what your savings may when its time to renew.  https://enhancedcare.icbc.com/savings-and-refunds

While the changes are significant and represent a seismic shift in how auto insurance benefits are provided in BC; your Allwest Insurance broker will be able to help you understand how this impacts you and ensure you are set up with the right coverage for your needs