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ICBC AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE SYSTEM
If ICBC doesn't pay for Fire Dept's response they should start... just look at
ICBC's accumulated surplus and profits in the newspaper article below "Taylor
gets ICBC bonus pay".
We are waiting a response from Regional District of Central Okanagan on this
matter to find out if taxpayers pay for the Fire Dept's response for traffic
accidents. We sent an email April 14, 2008. RDCO said they will get
back to us with the answer.
ICBC COULD HELP!!!
The more crowded the road, the more unsafe the road is. Government has
been promoting people to take the bus, by giving them money to hand over their
old clunker car (Cash for Klunkers) to walk or bicycle. Vehicle drivers
have helped subsidize the bus through fuel taxes and in Vancouver there is a
transit tax on your BC Hydro bill. For a change, how about government
partially subsidize the people whom drive to help get them out of their cars
while still keeping their cars. Some people can't give up their cars if
there is no bus on one part of their route, and they can't afford both transit and a vehicle so they stay in
their vehicle. There could be discounts on auto insurance for driving your
vehicle only part way to work for instance, or how about free Skytrain and bus
pass for people who pay auto insurance, etc.
An Okanagan Legal Blog
Automakers commit to put automatic brakes in all cars
by Canadian Press - BC Local News -
Sep 11, 2015 - By Joan Lowy, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Ten automakers have committed to the
government to include automatic emergency braking in all
new cars, a step safety advocates say could
significantly reduce traffic deaths and injuries.
Making the technology widely available is part of a new
era in vehicle safety in which the focus is on
preventing crashes rather than on protecting occupants
from their effects, Transportation Secretary Anthony
Foxx said Friday in a statement announcing the
The announcement didn't specify a timetable for
implementing the change. The automakers are Audi, BMW,
Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Tesla,
Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
The technology is already available in some vehicles,
but typically as an option in higher-priced models like
Cadillac, Infiniti and Lexus. They are also often
bundled with non-safety features like heated seats or
faux leather interiors, making the overall package more
"If technologies such as automatic emergency braking are
only available as options or on the most expensive
models, too few Americans will see the benefits of this
new era," Foxx said.
Automatic emergency braking includes a range of systems
designed to address the large number of crashes,
especially rear-end crashes, in which drivers do not
apply the brakes or fail to apply sufficient braking
power to avoid or mitigate a crash. The systems use
on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to
detect an imminent crash, warn the driver and, if the
driver does not take sufficient action, engage the
The systems could prevent or mitigate an estimated 80
per cent of the rear-end collisions that cause about
1,700 deaths and a half million injuries annually,
according to a recent report by the National
Transportation Safety Board. There are about 1.7 million
rear-end crashes each year in the U.S.
crash is too many
Castanet.net - by Jennifer Zielinski |
Story: 127304 - Nov 20, 2014
A road traffic death occurs in BC on average every 32
hours, while a road traffic injury occurs every 6.2
In an attempt to change driving attitude and behaviour
to recognize the magnitude of loss, the annual ‘One
Crash is Too Many’ campaign was held Wednesday evening
at the Orchard Park Shopping Centre.
One Crash is Too Many began three years ago and is a
campaign intended to raise awareness of the
preventability of motor vehicle related injuries. The
campaign was initiated and is funded by Paul Hergott, a
local personal injury lawyer.
One Crash is Too Many is held in conjunction with The
National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, a
day set aside to remember those killed or seriously
injured on Canadian roads, often in avoidable
collisions, and those left to deal with the sudden and
unexpected loss of people they love.
Both campaigns spawn from the UN General Assembly
adopted resolution on October 26, 2005, which embraced
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and
inviting member states and the international community
to remember the day, which is commemorated on the 3rd
Sunday of November each year.
According to Paul Hergott, it took three years for
Canada to respond to the UN resolution and declare the
Wednesday following the 3rd Sunday of November the
National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims.
“A 2014 report estimates that every 24 seconds somewhere
in the world, a father, mother, son, daughter, sibling,
colleague and friend is killed in a road traffic crash.
That’s over 3,500 per day,” he says. “That same report
estimates approximately 215,000 people are injured every
day in road traffic incidents.”
However the day of remembrance has failed to gain
widespread recognition, as there are only seven events
in all of Canada registered on the national website.
Due to the lack of acknowledgement for the day, there is
also a lack of resources allocated to deal with the
problem, says Hergott.
“On a strictly economic level, ignoring the personal
losses from injuries and deaths, the approximate expense
to British Columbians every year, estimated in a 2007
study, is approximately 9 Billion dollars per year,” he
“That’s twice the annual budget of the Ministry of
Education and approximately 50 per cent of the annual
budget of the Ministry of Health.”
However, the BC Coroners Service did release data
showing that between 2008 and 2012 vehicle drivers and
passengers who died in motor vehicle incidents dropped
by more than one third.
But the number of pedestrians killed remained constant
over that five-year period at about 55 each year.
According to a release from the BC Corner’s Service the
analysis found that almost half the fatal incidents took
place at intersections, and in more than half of those
cases the pedestrian either had the right of way or was
waiting on a sidewalk or median.
In about 70 per cent of those cases where the pedestrian
had the right of way in crossing the road, the vehicle
driver was making a left turn, which research shows is
one of the most complex maneuver for a driver to tackle,
increasing their chances of not seeing a pedestrian
until it is too late to avoid them.
Hergott hopes that by holding a day of remembrance there
will be a day when all road laws are respected and a day
of zero crashes resulting in injury or death will be a
asked to buck-up
Castanet.net - by Bill Everitt |
Story: 123657 - Sep 26, 2014
A light dangles from a post after a driver crashed into
it and rolled his vehicle on Hwy. 97 a few weeks ago.
Penticton council may have saved local taxpayers some
money this week as a resolution was passed urging ICBC
to restore full coverage for damages to City property.
The resolution to "urge the Ministry of Transportation
and Infrastructure to direct ICBC to reimburse the full
costs of damages caused by their insured drivers," was
passed on Wednesday's session of the Union of BC
Sometime in 2013 ICBC decided it was no longer going to
cover the full cost of repairing municipal structures
damaged in vehicular incidents. Now they are only paying
a reduced portion of wages, materials and equipment
The City apparently found out about the change when they
sent in a claim in Sept. 2013.
ICBC responded Feb. 3, 2014 with the new information,
noting the changes were effective immediately and sent
an adjusted invoice.
The issue was brought to council Feb. 17 and the
resolution was endorsed by the Southern Interior Local
Government Association. Later, the UBCM Resolutions
Committee recommended support for the resolution to its
membership and it was passed on Wednesday morning's
"ICBC is increasing our spending and we're saying that's
inappropriate," Mayor Garry Litke said in an interview.
"Local property gets damaged, a driver takes out a light
pole, lights come down and that should be covered by
"We have to pay overtime for a guy to come out in the
middle of the night to fix things, and ICBC just pays
what they think it's worth and it's not enough."
Litke said the city's budget did not include extra space
for ICBC to change the rules. Now, making up the
shortfall is costing taxpayers extra.
"In 2013 we invoiced ICBC $26,982.26 for property damage
as a result of an ICBC-insured claim," said Simone Blais,
communications officer with the City of Penticton. "They
only paid $20,885.98 – reducing wages by 46 per cent as
well as equipment and material costs."
Claims vary year-to-year depending on the nature of the
accident and how many incidents are recorded.
"A quick investigation of previous years show that
damages can vary between $20,000 and $100,000 – and many
happen in evenings and during weekends, when overtime
naturally occurs," Blais said.
Litke said it's unclear whether Minister Todd Stone will
do anything about it.
"Last year we passed a resolution on speed cameras in
school zones and within 45 minutes the Premier made a
statement saying it would never happen," he said.
"Stone has made no comment on this one yet."
ICBC spokesperson Michelle Hargrave said ICBC has not
made any changes to what they pay for in a claim,
including claims made by municipalities.
"Any driver who causes damage to property is legally
responsible for certain costs and, as their auto
insurer, we will pay for those legally-obligated costs,"
she said in an email. "At the same time, we are always
prepared to look at any individual claim where a
municipality feels they haven’t been properly paid."
Cellphone Use While Driving: Court Finds Drivers Can
Handle Phones Briefly
Ontario Court of Justice decision has declared that briefly
handling your cellphone while behind the wheel should not get you a
ticket under Ontario's Highway Traffic Act distracted driving
A bit of background…
On October 26, 2009, amendments to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA)
came into force prohibiting drivers from holding or using hand-held
wireless communication devices, such as cellphones, while driving a
motor vehicle in the province of Ontario. The law permits drivers to
continue to use such devices in "hands-free" mode. In addition,
drivers are entitled to use hand-held devices to contact police,
fire or other emergency services or where the vehicle is off the
road, not in motion and not impeding traffic.
So what happened…
On April 26, 2010, Khojasteh Kazemi was given a ticket under ss.
78.1(1) of the HTA for holding an opened flip cellphone in her hand
while stopped in her car at a red light.
She alleges that the cellphone which was on the car seat, dropped to
the floor. When the car was stopped at the red light she was just
retrieving it, not using it to make a call.
The police officer did not believe her, did not check if the phone
was in use, and issued the ticket. Kazemi contested the ticket.
At trial, Kazemi's lawyer argued that the prosecution had to prove
that Kazemi was in fact using the device while it was in her hand
when the police officer came upon her.
The Crown argued any touching of a cellphone is prohibited, even if
unrelated to its function.
The justice of the peace stated that it was enough that Kazemi was
holding the cellphone, and further stated, "This sufficed for the
purpose of the subsection. Whether it was in use or not was
irrelevant given the wording of the section."
The justice of the peace also rejected the defense attorney's
argument that ss. 78.1(1) requires proof that the device was in
operation. The justice of the peace found that:
…so long as the phone was capable of operating, the offence was made
out. The reason the legislature introduced the subsection was to
combat the mishaps and accidents caused by people using such a
device. The officer testified that the device was a brand name
cellphone and that it was flipped open. The justice of the peace
accepted this evidence and held that this element of the offence was
Kazemi was convicted and fined $200, and appealed.
On appeal, the Court of Justice had to deal with the interpretation
of “holding” a hand-held wireless communication device under section
78.1 of the Act:
78.1(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while
holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device or other
prescribed device that is capable of receiving or transmitting
telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text messages.
After analysis, the Court found:
…the "holding" of such devices is prohibited by the subsection since
the holding in addition to the use of such devices creates a
potential danger on the road. Using such a device may require the
device to be operable. However, it is not necessary for the device
to be operable for a person to be liable for holding the device. The
distraction and interference with driving occurs whether the device
is operable at the time or not. For example, a cellphone whose
battery is so low as to be unable to transmit or receive calls, will
still pose a distraction to a driver who, unaware of this, decides
to hold or attempt to use it.
However, "holding" must mean more than simply
having or carrying a device.
Consequently, the judge reasoned:
…to be "holding" a hand-held wireless
communication device requires more than merely touching or a brief
handling of such a device. This interpretation is consistent with
the common meaning of the term "holding" and the objective of the
legislation. Given the objective is to promote road safety by
banning resort to and the use of such devices while operating a
motor vehicle, it is not necessary to prohibit a driver from merely
touching a cellphone, for example, just to hand it to a passenger or
to move it within the car. The short mental distraction and physical
interference with the ability to drive caused by such acts are not
intended to be caught by the provision. There must be some sustained
physical holding of the device in order to meet the definition found
within ss. 78.1(1).
The judge found the conviction unreasonable
and acquitted Kazemi of the charge.
Surely many Ontario drivers will feel relief from this ruling, which
not only clarifies the prohibition on cellphone use while driving in
the HTA, but also provides a potential defence in the event one is
caught with cellphone in hand.
Not that I recommend drivers lie to police officers or that they
drive while using a cellphone or similar device. It is clear that
using such devices while driving is distracting and I would say
inherently dangerous. Driving while distracted won't always lead
directly to dangerous behaviour, but it vastly increases the risks.
I imagine most drivers (and passengers) have noticed another driver
acting dangerously while talking on a phone.
It is not a question of whether other legal activities are not also
distracting. A good driver will always remain focused on driving,
not on eating or reading or putting on makeup. And whether
explicitly prohibited or not, all of these activities are
potentially dangerous and should be treated as such by police. (That
is, they should result in penalties.)
The prohibition on cellphone use while driving will always be hard
to enforce, but this ruling will make the law fairer. I'd say the
purpose of the law is not actually to prevent drivers from talking
on their hand-held phones while driving, but rather to provide a
framework to penalize them when they are caught or when cellphone
use is involved in a collision.
The only way to change the behaviour is to make drivers understand
the potential for danger that they cause when they drive while
distracted. Public education campaigns will help, as will public
censure. That is, when it becomes "uncool" to drive while talking on
a hand-held phone, fewer people will do it. Another way is to make
it mandatory for driving instructors to discuss the dangers of
distracted driving with their students.
Since it is impossible for police to have their eyes on drivers at
all times, it is crucial that drivers, passengers and others
"self-police" by discouraging all forms of distracted driving.
Unfortunately, in the mean time, it is likely that many guilty
drivers who are caught red-handed will attempt to use the "I just
dropped my phone defence," and some will succeed. But the ruling
will also allow innocent drivers to defend themselves legitimately,
rather than forcing them to pay a fine for an offence they did not
|Paying for repairs
Depending on your claim, when you pick up your vehicle, you may have
to pay the shop:
a deductible—the amount you have
to pay for repairs or costs before your insurance kicks in to
pay for the rest
of the cost of depreciation—when previously damaged or
worn parts are repaired or replaced, or previously damaged or
worn bodywork is painted
(applies to “HST registrants” only)
If your repair shop doesn’t accept ICBC estimates, you will have
to pay the full cost of repairs and apply to ICBC to be reimbursed.
ICBC Repairing Your Vehicle May 30, 2012
Increase in body-injury claims to prompt ICBC rate hike
By Derrick Penner, Vancouver Sun November 29, 2011
Workers at the ICBC damaged vehicle lot at the south end of the
Queensborough Bridge in Richmond, BC., November 29, 2011. ICBC is
applying to raise rates by an average of $30 per year.
British Columbia drivers can expect to pay an average of $30 more
for auto insurance next year to offset rapidly rising body-injury
claims and declining income from the Insurance Corp. of B.C.’s
investments, corporation CEO John Schubert said Tuesday.
The public insurer will reduce premiums for optional coverage to
take some of the sting out, but ICBC’s financial picture over the
near future is “not sustainable without a rate increase,” Schubert
said at a news conference.
ICBC dropped basic premiums by 2.4 per cent in 2010. The last
increases were in 2007 when they were raised 3.3 per cent, and 2006
when they went up 6.5 per cent.
Schubert would not reveal the full impact of proposed rate increases
for basic liability insurance, the area where ICBC holds a monopoly,
saying that the corporation had not finalized the numbers.
However, for drivers who purchase optional collision and
comprehensive insurance through ICBC, Schubert said once savings are
factored in, the average increase will be less than three per cent,
or around $30.
All the details of the proposed premium increases will be included
in ICBC’s application to the B.C. Utilities Commission for approval,
which is expected by the end of this week and would take effect in
Schubert said the corporation couldn’t cite specific reasons for the
increasing amount of claims.
However, the number of people injured per crash is rising and
Schubert noted the province has seen more extreme weather and road
conditions during the period that claims have risen.
“It’s very hard to isolate individual factors,” according to
ICBC’s cost of claims has risen to $2.47 billion over the first nine
months of 2011, $200 million higher than the same period of 2010,
while its revenue has remained flat at around $2.8 billion.
During much of the same period, Schubert added that plummeting
interest rates on bond markets has eaten away at its expectations
for income for the premiums that ICBC has invested. Over the first
nine months of 2011, Schubert said ICBC’s investment income is $38
million lower than the same period of 2010, a figure he expects will
deepen to $90 million by the end of the year.
Typically, Schubert said ICBC’s investment income defrays premiums
it charges customers, but lower returns mean they are less able to
ICBC’s investment income totalled $341 million at the end of
September 2011, compared with $379 million over the same period of
However, the opposition critic of the Crown corporation in the
Legislature questions whether government should have taken so much
money out of ICBC for general revenue over recent years.
“ICBC has skimmed hundreds of millions of dollars over the last
several years,” said Kathy Corrigan, the NDP critic for the Ministry
of Public Safety and Solicitor-general, the ministry responsible for
“I don’t think it’s fair for [government] to take out revenue at the
front end and let the company solve its problems by placing the
burden on ratepayers,” she added.
Shirley Bond, the Minister for Public Safety and Solicitor-general,
responded that government does plan to continue taking dividends
from the Crown corporation, albeit less so.
“There will continue to be a dividend paid to the province, but it
will be, as you can imagine, much smaller than the ones have been
previously,” Bond said, though declined to offer a figure. “Those
funds go to provide other important supports in government.”
Provincial budget documents show ICBC was forecast to contribute
$290 million to provincial coffers in fiscal 2011-12, following $361
million in fiscal 2010-11 and $601 million in fiscal 2009-10.
“I think all of us are concerned any time there’s going to be an
additional burden on families in British Columbia. But I think ICBC,
like the rest of the world, is facing some pretty significant
issues,” Bond said.
Corrigan added that she has more questions for ICBC related to the
management of claims.
While preparing for last year’s budget debates, Corrigan said she
had heard from trial lawyers who told her that ICBC was taking a
“cutthroat approach” to the amount it would pay to lawyers to take
its insurance cases, which was hurting ICBC’s ability to defend such
And other trial lawyers are of the opinion ICBC is being sued more
often because the settlements it offers are too low.
“It’s our experience that more cases are being litigated because of
the tactical positions that ICBC has taken,” said Marc Kazimirski,
incoming president of the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C., in an
interview. “They are making lower offers — unreasonable offers — and
there were fewer mediations, which meant there were more litigated
ICBC spokesman Mark Jan Vrem said there has been no change in its
policy regarding the defence of claims in court.
“The number of trials has in no way driven these results,” Jan Vrem
said in an email. “The increased costs are driven by an unexpected
increase in frequency [of injury claims.]”
-With files from Jonathon Fowlie and Andrea Woo
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
Why don't each of us buy ICBC just one new camera to last us a lifetime, so ICBC
can take a picture of us and issue us a renewal drivers license every 5 years?
This amount of money to buy a new camera every 5 years is getting too expensive
If you believe that ICBC's
$75 renewal fee is a little excessive, please don't
hesitate to tell ICBC how you feel!
Below is the letter ICBC sends out to you, warning you to pay or else!
If you owe any money for liquor fines, Family Ministry, etc, you have to pay
those to ICBC before ICBC will issue you a drivers license.
click for a larger copy
|How about a
VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - Janet Brown - 4/12/2011
A Freedom of Information request by CKNW News reveals ICBC paid it's
42 hundred full time unionized regular employees bonuses totalling
just over nine million dollars in 2010.
That works out to twenty two hundred and nine dollars per employee..
ICBC's Mark Jen Vrem says the bonuses are part of the collective
agreement but are also a reward for doing a good job,"it's flexed on
a number of things one of them is net income but more importantly
it's customer satisfaction surveys and they seem to be hitting those
out of the park and for that we're very grateful and we think they
deserve this performance pay."
BC Director of The Canadian Taxpayers Federation Gregory Thomas is
critical of the bonuses,"I think drivers and taxpayers are clearly
getting hosed by ICBC, this is an organization that doesn't pay
taxes, we're supposed to own it and they're more interested in
helping themselves than they are in helping us and this is a prime
The bonuses have been in place for about a decade and since 2006
have increased roughly 60 per cent.
ICBC investing in B.C. roads
Kelowna Capital News - September 09, 2010
A 2009 evaluation showed that ICBC’s investment in road improvements
are helping keep everyone safer.
The evaluation of ICBC’s investment in 102 road improvement projects
(from a total of 750 projects), showed a 20 per cent reduction in
fatal and severe injury crashes and a 12 per cent reduction in
“Road improvements deliver real value to our customers and all road
users, from drivers to pedestrians,” said ICBC’s Nicolas Jimenez,
director of road safety.
“Over the past 21 years, we’ve invested about $100 million in more
than 2,750 road enhancements to help make our roads safer for
ICBC’s Road Improvement Program works in partnership with
municipalities and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
to help make our communities safer.
The evaluation, conducted by Dr. Tarek Sayed, professor of civil
engineering at UBC and Dr. Paul Deleur, transportation safety
engineer, concluded that for every dollar invested, ICBC and its
customers see a return five to 12 times the investment.
That is, for every dollar invested, ICBC and its customers save
$5.60 over two years and $12.80 over five years in reduced crash
For urban area road improvements, the study evaluated 42 projects
where ICBC spent $1.6 million, which resulted in savings of $7.6
million over two years and $19.3 million over five years.
The savings on rural highway areas were even higher. ICBC spent $2.9
million on 60 projects, which resulted in savings of $13.8 million
over two years and $35.1 million over five years.
Projects include a wide range of countermeasures, from roundabouts
to left hand turn bays, from signs to median barriers. Evaluated
projects within the Southern Interior region include:
• Merritt and Kamloops: Improved signals and intersection lanes at
Highway 5 and Mt. Paul Way. ICBC invested $31,200 and the
improvements resulted in a 56 per cent drop in property damage
claims and a 44 per cent drop in severe injury crashes, saving
$185,100 over two years and $459,300 over five years.
• Okanagan: Improvement to Highway 97 at Okanagan Lake Park,
including expansion to four lanes, improvements to the horizontal
alignment and cross-section. ICBC invested $94,800 and the
improvements resulted in a 69 per cent drop in property damage
claims and 35 per cent drop in severe injury crashes, saving
$272,400 over two years and $738,000 over five years.
• Vernon: Improvements to Highway 97 from Swan Lake to Larkin,
including expansion to four lanes and structure enhancements. ICBC
invested $89,600 and the improvements resulted in a 3 per cent drop
in property damage claims and 33 per cent drop in severe injury
crashes, saving $101,300 over two years and $343,200 over five
“We’re in communities across the province,” said Jimenez.
“Our community partnerships are paramount to the success of this
Are you prepared for the open road??
Say your in Winterpeg and come up to Osborne Street. You see there is a
sign that says no right turn and the traffic light shows a green arrow and a red
light. Do you stop or do you go? What do you do?
Do you know it was illegal to turn right on a red in Quebec?
It is illegal to drive a wide load while on the Freeway in Vancouver during rush
hour, and its also illegal to deliver a wide load on a Sunday in Manitoba.
calls for probe into Toyota's 'black boxes'
By: ctvbc.ca - Sunday Aug. 8, 2010
Julia Foy on a father's search for closure
Chris Eves died on Oct. 17, 2007, after his Toyota Tundra crashed
head-on into a tree in Washington State. (CTV)
A B.C. man whose son died in a car accident three years ago says he
is lobbying Transport Canada to launch an investigation into the
effectiveness of the vehicle's "black box" device.
Chris Eves died on Oct. 17th, 2007 when his Toyota Tundra
inexplicably veered off a straight, quiet stretch of road in
Washington State and crashed head-on into a tree.
Eves had a blood alcohol reading of .08, making him legally
impaired, so authorities concluded he fell asleep at the wheel.
But that wasn't enough for his father. Ron Eves wanted to find out
what the vehicle's black box, or Event Data Recorder (EDR), would
reveal about the crash.
"Unless you have the facts of the loss of a very important family
member, it's very difficult to have closure," Eves said.
The box is reportedly able to record speed, how hard the driver is
hitting the gas pedal, and whether or not brakes were used leading
up to a crash.
He managed to rescue the EDR from the wreckage, but immediately hit
a speed bump: only Toyota software can download the information.
Eves spent almost three years trying to get the company to download
the data so he could have it independently analyzed.
This week, Eves and his family received a report from forensic
engineer Bill Rosenbluth. The results, Eves said, were
"It would indicate that Toyota's download was less than complete and
less than accurate," he said. "Their software's defective."
Eves said the results were troubling because there is no government
agency that assures EDR readout tools are properly calibrated, or
even capable of reading the information they're processing.
Toyota has recalled millions of vehicles this year over problems
with accelerators and floor mats. Eves worries his son's truck may
have also been faulty, but the EDR data does not offer a definitive
He says he has no plans to sue the auto giant, but is lobbying
Transport Canada to investigate EDRs in their products.
"I would never want another family to go through this, and I hope
that the government -- in particular the Canadian government -- will
take some proactive measures to make sure that these readout devices
are, in fact, not faulty."
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Julia Foy
ICBC to trim basic insurance rates
By Jeff Nagel - BC Local News - May 31, 2010
B.C. motorists may soon get a break on their auto insurance
ICBC wants to cut basic rates an average of 1.9 per cent effective
It would be the first cut in more than a decade on the price of
compulsory insurance on which the public auto insurer holds a
The B.C. Utilities Commission still has to approve the cut.
But ICBC will have to cut much further to get basic rates back down
to 2005 levels – increases in 2006 and 2007 raised basic premiums
nearly 10 per cent.
"We'd love to see this continue," ICBC spokesman Adam Grossman said,
but added further basic premium cuts will depend on the strength of
ICBC's finances and the costs of accident claims.
"We know basic rates are extremely important to everybody because
they apply to all of our customers."
ICBC has made much more frequent cuts to its optional rates – where
it competes with other insurers – and now charges 17 per cent less
on average for optional coverage than it did five years ago.
Officials credit safer driving by motorists with helping reduce
The announcement came just after ICBC pulled a $1.7-million ad
campaign that officials decided was in poor taste due to its sexual
ICBC has recorded rising profits so far this year and reported a
$563-million profit for 2009, up 13 per cent.
The provincial government this year moved to tap some of the cash
ICBC generates to pay down the B.C. deficit.
It ordered ICBC earlier this year to hand over $487 million worth of
its reserves that had been generated from the optional side of the
business and deemed surplus to the corporation's needs.
ICBC’s blanket no drinking policy on shaky legal ground
Kelowna Capital News - By Robert Smithson - March
According a recent article by Randy Shore, published in the
Vancouver Sun, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia has
implemented a policy banning consumption of alcohol by employees
during the work day.
Unfortunately for ICBC, its work day includes a lunch period for
which employees are not paid.
The employees’ union, the Canadian Office and Professional Employees
(COPE), has already voiced its opposition to this policy.
COPE’s position is, in effect, that the employer is overreaching by
attempting to regulate employees’ conduct during periods for which
they are not paid.
According to Shore’s article, ICBC’s new policy “specifically
prohibits employees from drinking on their lunch hours.”
The article quoted an ICBC representative as saying, “We take the
position that any amount of alcohol will not improve an employee’s
That’s an interesting, and perhaps poorly expressed, perspective.
There are many other activities employees engage in which won’t
improve their judgment—I wonder if ICBC is planning on banning
Should there be a grievance and a resulting arbitration hearing over
this policy, ICBC may find itself in a delicate position.
Surely, in order to convince an arbitrator that such a far-reaching
policy is necessary, ICBC must advance the position that it has a
widespread problem with employees being impaired on the job.
However, admitting in a public forum that it has a widespread
problem with employees showing up impaired for work is something
that ICBC (like any employer) surely won’t want to do.
The result is something of a “catch 22” for ICBC.
It’s likely that ICBC will also advance the position that, due to
its role as the primary auto insurer in B.C., part of its mandate is
to discourage alcohol consumption and that its own operations are
the best place to set that example.
Just as a company promoting environmental sustainability may not
want its employees chugging to and from work in a Hummer, ICBC may
feel that its role is to discourage drinking and driving.
But therein lies the catch—the policy (apparently) doesn’t focus
solely on employees consuming alcohol and then operating a motor
It is the blanket effect of the policy which may be its downfall.
As admirable as ICBC’s intentions may be, the policy seems on its
face to over-reach in its application.
Obviously, consuming alcohol at work is inappropriate as is showing
up at work in an impaired state.
But if an employee consumes a pint of beer during lunch hour, and is
not in an impaired state as a result, what right does his or her
employer have to restrict that conduct?
I think ICBC will find that arbitrators in this province view the
attempted regulation of employees’ non-work conduct with skepticism.
That means ICBC has an uphill battle in convincing an arbitrator
that this policy is reasonably required.
To be sure, there are some circumstances in which regulation of
off-duty conduct is warranted.
If an employee’s conduct brings the employer’s business into
disrepute or in some manner (directly or indirectly) affects the
employee’s ability to do a job, then the incursion into his or her
private life may be deemed warranted.
The range of scenarios in which this is likely to be the case,
however, is limited.
My own guess, not knowing anything more about the situation than
what has been published in the Vancouver Sun, is that ICBC’s isn’t
one of them.
Robert Smithson is a lawyer in Kelowna practicing exclusively in the
area of labour and employment law. This subject matter is provided
for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be
relied upon as legal advice.
rsmithson "at" pushormitchell.com
ICBC helping to improve roads
Kelowna Capital News - March 25, 2010
ICBC has invested nearly $810,000 in road improvements around
Kelowna in 2009.
Most Kelowna residents have seen the improvements along Harvey
Avenue and Highway 97. They are among the 21 road enhancement
projects that ICBC helped pay for in Kelowna last year to help make
roads safer for all users.
Now moving into its third decade, ICBC’s road improvement program
invested approximately $1.7 million in the Southern Interior region
and $8.1 million across B.C. in 2009 (including the money spent
ICBC works in partnership with municipalities and the provincial
government on delivering road enhancements. ICBC also participates
in engineering studies and assists communities with road safety
issues in the planning of roadways and managing traffic.
“The City of Kelowna is committed to ensuring residents can travel
safely and efficiently on our roadways. We value the opportunity to
work with ICBC to help make our community safer through road
improvement projects,” said Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd.
Projects proposed for road improvement are assessed to ensure they
make B.C. roads safer for all road users.
An independent evaluation of ICBC-funded road
improvements found that, measured over a two-year period after a
project’s completion, there was an 18 per cent reduction in property
damage crashes and a 25 per cent reduction in the number of severe
crashes where someone is either killed or seriously injured in the
According to ICBC, the investments helped many British Columbians
escape injury and death.
Now if we can only get ICBC to help fund snow plows and sand trucks, and have
all the gas taxes go to ICBC, eh??
Group urges changes on Drought Hill, Bennett Bridge
Speed traps could soon be appearing regularly at this section of the
Bennett Bridge as Protrans, the company that maintains the bridge,
looks for a permanent site for
set up radar in a bid to slow down traffic headed into town from the
Kelowna Capital News - By Jason Luciw - Published:
May 02, 2009
For decades, stories of fatal accidents, collisions with wildlife
and near misses on Drought Hill between Peachland and Westbank have
been told, time and time again.
As a result, the Highway 97 Task Force Society says it’s time the
Ministry of Transportation reconsider the safety-related improvement
suggestions that have been made in the past for the dangerous
stretch of road.
The group is working on solutions for a Peachland bypass, but
recognizes the re-routing of Highway 97 is still several years away.
In the meantime, it says less costly safety initiatives, such as
lowering the speed limit and increasing traffic enforcement could be
implemented on Drought Hill.
More expensive measures should also be looked at, like adding rumble
strips, embedding centre-line reflectors, installing more highway
lighting and erecting counter flow medians.
Society president Bob Sugden told the Central Okanagan Regional
District board this week that almost one-third of all accidents in
the Okanagan happen on less than three per cent of the Highway 97
corridor, including the problematic Drought Hill.
But West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater said that area wasn’t his only
In his opinion, a traffic light is needed at the Highway 97
intersection at Clements Crescent, the access point to the Peachland
strip mall alongside the highway where the IGA grocery store is
laocate. It is also the road that the town’s only elementary school
“For many years, I have dodged the traffic in that area,” said
Findlater. “Have you looked at some realignment there or a light on
highway 97 that would slow people down and allow (traffic to) safely
Sugden said traffic engineers have told him that cross-traffic
counts at that intersection don’t warrant a light.
As for long term solutions for Highway 97 through Peachland, the
society would still like to see a four-lane bypass route built
around town, from the Okanagan Connector to Greata Ranch. The board
heard Monday night that time is running out for such a route to be
built though. As development moves further up Peachland’s hillsides,
the available route gets higher and higher and starts to pass
through some fairly steep grades.
Peachland Mayor Keith Fielding also told the board that some
businesses are becoming more leery of the bypass route too, since
having felt a bit of a pinch when Highway 97 had to be closed for
almost three weeks due to a rock slide on the Peachland to
Summerland four-laning project last fall. They got a sense of what
it could be like having less traffic flow through town, stated
Sugden said another option remains a four- or six-lane widening of
the existing stretch of Highway 97 through Peachland.
Meanwhile, another stretch of Highway 97 where improvements are
being considered is the new William R. Bennett Bridge, according to
The West Kelowna mayor told his council Tuesday night that the
private contractor maintaining the Bennett Bridge, Protrans, is
concerned about speeding.
“An eastbound pullout suitable for RCMP speed traps is being looked
at,” Findlater told council. “A speed reader board on the bridge is
also being considered.”
The speed limit is 60 km/h; however, the Capital News took a photo
last year, with RCMP clocking one vehicle going 110 km/h. And
typically, most vehicles travel in excess of 70 or 80 km/h depending
on the time of day.
At one time, Protrans was also considering the installation of a
removable barrier for emergency vehicle access, mentioned Findlater.
“Protrans has not found a suitable structure that is strong but
easily removable,” noted the mayor, following a meeting with the
maintenance company and various stake holders on Tuesday.
Findlater also said B.C. Transit is reporting a significant drop in
ridership from the Westside during the day.
“Which may be due to the increased commercial services on Westbank
First Nation lands and/or improved car access to Kelowna resulting
from the new bridge.
HIT AND RUN
Vernon Morning Star - Letters - Published: March
Somewhere in Vernon or surrounding area there is a cream/white
four-door sedan late '80s model that needs either a new windshield
or passenger side window. I know this because on Jan. 24 at around
11:30 a.m., they left the glass from their window laying beside my
van after having sideswiped my vehicle and leaving the scene of the
accident. I was parked on 27th Avenue in the 4000 block, half-way
into a snowbank, in order to keep my vehicle as much off the road as
A neighbour observed the car in question exit the alley and swerve
toward my vehicle then race off. Unfortunately, there was no time to
note the license plate number.
I phoned the RCMP and ICBC to report the hit and run. My first
surprise was that Vernon RCMP do not attend hit and runs if the
perpetrator is unknown. They took down my name, plate number, phone
number and gave me a file number.
I then called ICBC. They took down my name, plate number, phone
number, gave me a claim number and gave me an appointment for an
adjustor to see it. When I took my van in to be inspected I was
informed that after the work was completed I would have to pay the
deductible and ICBC would take care of the rest.
"But I was the victim of a hit and run," I said naively. Without a
license plate number of the person who hit you, the deductible is
payable by you.
"But I have a file with the RCMP acknowledging that I reported a hit
and run." Without the license plate number, you are responsible for
"But I have a picture of someone else's glass lying beside my van."
Without a license plate number, you are responsible for the
How does this happen? I was parked legally. I was not at fault but I
am the one who will pay.
It happens because of other people's dishonesty. They do not
hesitate to rip off the system. Drivers cause damage to their own
vehicles and then claim it was a hit and run and while we're at it,
let's claim that old ding or chip happened at the same time.
It happens because irresponsible drivers cause damage to other
vehicles and just drive off. After all, what harm can it really do –
the other person has insurance, the company will take care of it?
Wrong. Depending on the deductible, it will cost the other person
upwards of $300 and that is not taking into account any other
expense such as car rental or taxi.
I am a senior citizen living on a fixed income and these unexpected
expenses are a real hardship for me but I will manage to cover it
because I need to have transportation available.
It's not fair and I feel angry about it. I would appeal to the
person who did it to me to come forward if I thought it would be of
any use, but I know it won't, because if you were a person who
cared, or had any integrity at all you would have taken
responsibility at the time of the incident.
ICBC defends its record
Vernon Morning Star - Letters - Published: January
There have been recent discussions regarding
auto insurance in B.C. and other provinces, and we wanted to take
this opportunity to share some key differences.
It is difficult to make direct comparisons between auto insurance
rates in one province compared to another as each province and
policy is different. What we can say for certain is that ICBC’s
insurance rates are low and stable, where rates in other provinces
tend to fluctuate much more
As an example, in 2008 our combined basic and optional rate went
down by 1.3 per cent, and over the past five years rates have only
gone up by $2 for customers who have purchased the same Basic and
Motorists in B.C. benefit from some of the best insurance coverage
in the country. Our unrestricted tort system offers one of the
highest no-fault medical and rehab benefits in Canada ($150,000)
which is three to six times more than offered by some other
provinces with tort.
Perhaps the most meaningful direct comparison we can make is based
on the loss ratio – which is ratio of claims and claims related
costs to insurance premium dollars earned. The industry average is
about 72 cents paid out for every premium dollar. At ICBC, the ratio
is about 87 cents per dollar.
Instead of comparing provinces, we should make comparisons in B.C.
where there is competition for optional insurance. The vast majority
of motorists are continuing to come to us for their optional
insurance which tells us that our rates are competitive and our
coverage is the best.
Is ICBC perfect? No, but it will always work hard to provide the
best possible value and customer service.
ICBC president and CEO
Warranty alert issued
By Roger Knox - Vernon Morning Star - News - Published: January 23,
Vernon RCMP spokesman Gord Molendyk is well aware of an
automobile warranty scam that has hit B.C.
He’s had someone call his home phone offering up an extended
warranty for his car if he gives them his credit card number.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has received inquiries regarding a
live or automated telephone call informing them that the warranty on
their vehicles may be expiring soon.
“I had one of those calls on our answering machine the other day,
and the thing is our warranty is nearing the end,” said Molendyk. “I
thought, ‘forget it, I’m not interested,’ and didn’t pay attention
to it. Our call display showed the call originated from the United
The BBB said consumers are confused by the phone calls because in
many cases they have older vehicles not eligible for warranties, and
that callers have used pressure tactics to urge people to reveal
personal information and credit card numbers.
“I’ve never heard of auto dealers extending a warranty, and they’re
not going to extend for five years because now you’ve got a
10-year-old vehicle, and they’re not going to extend it for a couple
of hundred dollars,” said Molendyk. “If it sounds too good to be
true, it is. Why not deal with the dealer you’ve dealt with?”
Consumers are being contacted by a company representative advising
that their vehicle warranty will expire in two days. The person on
the phone claims information was provided by the manufacturer that
provided the original warranty.
are then offered a five-year extended warranty for $175 to $400, and
asked to provide a credit card number. The
representative tells them they can contact a warranty centre.
Telephone prefixes have been appearing on customers’ phones from
across the U.S. and even Canada, but police believe the numbers are
being “spoofed,” or changed to hide the identity of the call’s
This latest phone solicitation scam to hit B.C. has led to a cease
and desist order from the province’s Financial Institutions
The order concerns automated messages that are trying to sell
after-market vehicle warranties.
If you receive one of these calls, BBB suggests you refer to your
original vehicle documents, talk with your car dealer, check with
the BBB, check to see if the warranty provider is licensed, and be
suspicious of low prices.
Radar traps come to back country
By Judie Steeves - Kelowna Capital News -
Published: January 08, 2009
Campers and logging truck drivers had better beware: Big Brother is
going to be watching for you—even on the back roads.
Forest minister Pat Bell announced Thursday his ministry has bought
six new radar guns so that the three forest regions in the province
will have two more each to use to police drivers going over the
speed limit on forest service roads.
The two or three compliance and enforcement officers based out of
each of B.C.’s 29 forest districts will be trained in the use of the
radar guns, Bell said.
There’s a network of 59,000 kilometres of forest service roads in
Bell said the program is supported by the RCMP, ICBC and
Conservation Officer Service.
As well, the minister said his ministry will put speed boards up in
different locations to increase drivers’ awareness of their speed.
The idea is to improve safety for forest workers and the public, he
“Initially, the main focus is to improve compliance and safe driving
practices through education and awareness,” said Bell.
“But make no mistake, officers are empowered to give tickets and
chronic, repeat offenders could be subject to fines of up to $1
million for speeding and dangerous driving on a forest service road.
The maximum speed limit on forest service roads is either as posted
or 80 kilometres an hour.
“This is particularly true for recreational users and smaller
vehicles. The rules for forest service roads apply to all users,”
Ministry spokesperson Jennifer McLarty said in a Powell River pilot
project last year, the main offenders were recreational users of the
road and the general public, including users of all-terrain
As well, the ministry has made road infrastructure improvements, and
is testing another pilot project to standardize radio call
procedures and road signs.
TruckSafe has expanded its vehicle identification plates program to
make it simpler and easier to report unsafe driving incidents.
jsteeves [at] kelownacapnews.com
Passionate about getting correct info to the public
Kelowna Capital News - Opinion - Published:
January 01, 2009
I don’t advertise my occupation when I’m out and about, unless I’m
at a Chamber of Commerce function where circulating business cards
is the expected activity.
With much of the population believing that car crash lawyers are
shady characters who make bags of money helping undeserving whiners
screw the insurance company, I’d rather avoid the issue.
It also avoids dealing with those folks who see the opportunity to
get a little free legal advice. I don’t mind helping out, but giving
legal advice is what I go to the office all day to get paid for
The topic is hard to avoid, though. When meeting new people,
exchanging occupation details is about as commonplace as exchanging
names and sharing how many kids you have.
And as much as I try to avoid the topic coming up, I am occasionally
very happy that it does. From time to time, the person I am
talking to has either been injured in a crash or is close to someone
else who has suffered a similar fate. Those people don’t have
so much of a bias against car crash lawyers because they know that
crash injuries are real and that injured victims need all the help
they can get when going against the insurance company.
I am often the first car crash lawyer he or she has talked to. I get
a kick out of giving the “straight goods” that he or she is not
getting from the insurance adjuster.
I had my best encounter of this kind during this past Christmas
season. A lady I was chatting with mentioned a crash she had
been in. She wasn’t digging for free legal advice, just bringing up
something that we would have remotely in common.
In the course of our discussion, she told me in a “matter of fact”
way that she didn’t have a claim because she didn’t have the license
plate number of the vehicle that had caused the crash. She had
been given that “information” from the insurance adjuster she had
consulted when she had gone to make a claim for compensation for the
losses she had suffered arising from the crash.
She didn’t have a license plate number because the offending driver
had taken off instead of pulling over to exchange information as had
Perhaps I shouldn’t still get so livid when I hear about insurance
adjusters giving false or misleading information to crash victims.
Unfairness just gets under my skin. A huge insurance company taking
advantage of the position of authority that the general public
perceives it to have is at the far end of offensive to me.
It’s simply dead wrong that you need to have a license plate number
in order to make a claim. You need to take reasonable steps to
determine the identity of the offending driver, and having the
license plate number is helpful to make that determination, but if
reasonable steps are taken and no information can be determined,
that is no bar to a claim.
I discussed the rules related to this kind of claim in some detail
previous column of June 1, 2008, which can be found in my
web site archive. I took such intense pleasure filling
the lady in on the correct information. Fortunately, our chance
meeting occurred before the expiration of some critical
deadlines—deadlines which, if missed, could truly eliminate her
Along with the pleasure, though, came a deep frustration. Why
did it take a chance meeting at a friend’s Christmas season open
house for this lady to get the most basic of accurate information
about her legal rights arising from a crash?
How many others are in her position of having received
misinformation from the insurance company?
That’s the main reason why I take the time each week to write this
column. It is to replace misinformation with accurate information.
It is to combat unfairness arising from a misplaced trust in the
insurance company. It is to reach out to people like this lady to
assist in achieving the very basic objective of justice.
This column is intended to provide general information about
personal injury claims. It is not a substitute for retaining a
lawyer to provide legal advice specifically pertaining to your case.
For an archive of Paul Hergott’s published columns, see
www.hergottlaw.ca. Paul Hergott is a lawyer with Hergott Law
in West Kelowna.
If there are particular issues you would like discussed in this
column, please e-mail him directly at:
paul [at] hlaw.ca.
When it comes to injury claims keep an eye on the clock
Kelowna Capital News - Opinion - Published:
October 04, 2008
Injustice makes my skin crawl.
We are exposed to life’s minor injustices on a regular basis—an
impatient shopper cutting in line, a schoolyard bully stealing a
treat, a cheater.
Even the minor ones are hard to take. I want to jump in, send the
shopper to the back of the line, return the treat, disqualify the
Of course, I am not alone. I like to think that we all have that
sense of fairness.
How often, though, do we actually get to stop injustice in its
Not long ago, I was consulted by a fellow who had been injured in a
car crash through no fault of his own.
It was just over two years after the crash and the pain from those
injuries had become chronic.
He was looking for a lawyer to help him achieve fair compensation
for his injuries.
How I wished he had come to me just a couple weeks earlier.
Have you ever heard of a limitation period? It is a time
If a lawsuit is not started within the time limit, the right to fair
One day, you have a claim and the next day, the claim is gone.
The fellow who consulted me had been dealing directly with the
I don’t know whether the adjuster handling his claim mentioned the
limitation period but I do know, with certainty, that he wasn’t
sufficiently warned because he didn’t come to me until after the
limitation period had expired.
One day he had a case and the next day he didn’t.
I wonder how many of the hundreds of millions of dollars of
insurance company profits are made up of cases like that one. I
wonder if they uncorked champagne.
Is your skin crawling? Hang on. I have a better story.
It was a Friday afternoon. I had just returned to the office from a
type of pre-trial hearing.
A lady called me over as I was heading into my office. She asked me
if I did any personal injury work. (No, she doesn’t read this
She told me about her sister who had been in a crash a couple of
She had been dealing directly with the insurance company but had
finally decided to hire a lawyer.
I don’t know exactly what the insurance adjuster told her but I do
know what she had come to understand from those discussions.
She understood that if she didn’t settle her claim within
two years, she would have to hire a lawyer.
Her sister was helping her find a lawyer.
She happened to see me coming into my office and happened to
Get this: It was two years to the day after the crash.
In my mind’s eye, I could already see the bottles of champagne lined
up, on ice at the insurance company offices.
In 2 ½ hours, the court registry where the lawsuit had to be filed
In 150 minutes, the claim would be gone.
There’s something about a looming deadline that focuses you.
There’s also something about 150 minutes standing between justice
and injustice that stokes the fire under your boiler.
Fortunately, we live in a technological world. I was able to contact
the sister on her cell phone.
Once I explained the urgency of the situation, she immediately left
work went home and gave me the necessary information from the police
I left an urgent message for the adjuster but, of course, I couldn’t
rely on a timely response from him.
I prepared the writ on my computer, printed, signed, scanned and
filed it electronically.
It was a sweet thing seeing that electronically affixed court
registry date stamp on the document.
Injustice averted—by a hair.
I’m not a champagne kind of guy. I cracked a beer or two.
There’s a lesson in this. You cannot rely on an insurance
company to advise you about your rights. That’s not its role.
Its allegiance is to the driver who caused the crash and to its
bottom line, not to you.
Another lesson? Sometimes the stars really do line up.
This column is intended to provide general information about injury
claims. It is not a substitute for retaining a lawyer to provide
legal advice specifically pertaining to your case.
Paul Hergott is a lawyer with Hergott Law on the Westside. If there
are particular issues you would like discussed in this column,
please e-mail Paul directly at:
paul "at" hlaw.ca
Whiplash rates turning heads in BC
British Columbia's claims rate for whiplash, about 900 per 100,000
population, is more than twice the rate for any other jurisdiction
in the world, the BC Medical Journal reports. Dr. Murray Allen, a
former associate professor of kinesiology at Simon Fraser
University, says whiplash accounts for about 60% of all injuries
reported following vehicle collisions in BC, compared with 35%
worldwide (BCMJ 2002;44:241-2). He says part of the "high
claims behaviour" may be explained by lawyers' earning potential
from such cases. — CMAJ
Ombudsman Reports on ICBC’s Minimal/No Damage-Low Velocity
VICTORIA – Provincial Ombudsman Howard Kushner today released
Special Report No. 26, a report on his office’s investigation of
a program initiated by ICBC to deal with claims arising from
low-velocity motor vehicle accidents. “Our concern from the
outset of our investigation was that
appeared that some people with legitimate claims were being
denied compensation and benefits,” noted Kushner.
BC Ombudsman Special Report #26
In addition to the concerns raised during our investigation,
ICBC’s internal audit corroborated problems of inconsistency in
the application of the Program, identifying problems with the
way ICBC had handled over 38 percent of the 494 bodily injury
claims examined. from page 11
BC Ombudsman Special Report #26
In accordance with section 23 of the Ombudsman Act, I notified
ICBC that our investigation concluded that
ICBC acted in an
arbitrary and unfair manner in creating and maintaining a
Program from 1992 until 2003 that erected unfair barriers to
recognizing claims stemming from a large number of motor vehicle
Our investigation concluded that the Program, as it existed from
its inception in 1992 until it was modified in 2003, was
inadequate and contravened our Office’s standards of fairness
for an administrative program. I have made the following
recommendation, which stems from this finding, pursuant to
section 23 of the Ombudsman Act:
That ICBC review any claim that was closed under the MND/LVI
Program if people approach ICBC maintaining that their claims
were unfairly denied under that Program. ICBC’s final response
to our investigation, provided in a letter dated April 29, 2004,
is included in the Appendix.
Office regrets that ICBC has declined to accept the above
I note that a positive outcome of our Ombudsman initiated
investigation has been the many claims that were reviewed by
ICBC and adjusted on their merits. from page 14
BC Ombudsman Special Report #26
One family not surprised by ICBC scandal
April 13, 2008 - Kelowna Capital News
To the editor:
So ICBC has been caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Somehow
this doesn’t surprise me.
I say they should be investigated, to find out what is really going
Like many government agencies, they have been ripping people off for
too long and are getting away with too much.
As our family found out, in the eyes of ICBC you are guilty till
In 2005, our daughter was in a car accident where she was rear-ended
at a yield sign. The car was a write-off and she was taken to
Kelowna General Hospital.
Over three years she would see four different specialists, all
concluding she would have permanent damage for the rest of her life.
As this was not enough evidence for ICBC, they proceeded to request
all her school records and all employment history.
The icing on the cake was the day they would bring her in a room to
discuss the death of her brother, who died in a work related
accident in 2004.
She was asked why she never went to see a psychiatrist. That day was
a very bad day for her. How dare they bring up a matter that is none
of their business and what does this have to do with her accident?
Our family is so disgusted with ICBC, they have no right to be
getting away with what they are doing.
look at ICBC's profit and accumulated surplus of 2.1 billion!
Taylor gets ICBC bonus pay
By Jeff Nagel - BC Local News - April 08, 2008
ICBC Departing ICBC president Paul Taylor will still get to spend
his bonus pay cheque for steering the public auto insurer to
record-setting profits last year.
Taylor resigned Friday amid controversy over vehicles ICBC repaired
and sold – some with undisclosed crash histories to the unsuspecting
public and other better buys to ICBC staff who trumped all other
bidders in rigged auctions.
ICBC won't say exactly how big Taylor's bonus pay package is this
But he collected an
$60,000 two years ago for 2005, in addition to his
salary of $300,000.
"We aren't giving out specific performance pay amounts," said ICBC
spokesman Doug Henderson, adding the corporation now only discloses
total remuneration paid to employees in a year-end financial report.
Taylor earned a total of $421,000 in pay (including performance pay)
and claimed expenses totalling $58,500.
The equivalent figures for 2007 won't be released for several weeks.
Performance bonuses were paid out on March 20.
ICBC last year recorded a
huge $642 million profit – its highest ever –
although about $135 million of that came from the one-time sale of
its Central City property in Surrey.
accumulated surplus has ballooned to $2.1 billion.
Financial performance is one of the main criteria for awarding bonus
Because Taylor departed voluntarily he does not receive any
ICBC and government officials say Taylor's departure to pursue new
opportunities was unrelated to the scandal over salvage cars.
An investigation by independent auditors is underway and the RCMP
are also reviewing the matter.
Taylor has said he learned of the improprieties in late January.
He becomes president and director of NaiKun Wind Group Inc., a firm
that plans to build windmills in Hecate Strait off the Queen
"I am proud to be joining a leader in clean-energy development,"
Taylor said in a NaiKun press release. "It is an exciting and
unparalleled opportunity to build a project, an industry and a
legacy of clean, renewable power for the province."
NaiKun contributed $4,740 to the B.C. Liberal party last year,
Elections BC records show.
Taylor stays on with ICBC until May 2.
ICBC repair shop probed
By Tom Fletcher - Peace Arch News - March 04, 2008
ICBC repair shop probed
VICTORIA – Independent auditors have been hired to examine reports
that the Insurance Corporation of B.C. sold vehicles repaired at its
Burnaby research centre without disclosing to buyers that they had
been written off in accidents.
ICBC identified as many as 174 vehicles where the repairs may not
have been properly documented and disclosed to purchasers, as
required by provincial law.
Solicitor General John Les said Thursday that the Material Damage
Research and Training Centre has reopened after being closed in
early February when the allegations came to light, but no further
vehicles will be sold until the independent investigation is done.
Les said all the people who bought cars from the research facility
have been contacted, and the vehicles inspected to ensure they are
safe. He was unable to say whether buyers would receive
ICBC disclosed the problem in a statement issued Feb. 13, in which
it declined to comment further until the investigation is complete.
Les said the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse-Coopers and an
independent law firm are handling the investigation.
In the legislature last week, NDP critics called on the government
to prevent ICBC from handling its own investigation of what NDP
leader Carole James called “ICBC’s alleged chop shop.”
Les replied that independent auditors and lawyers were in charge of
the investigation, and he would make the findings available when
their work is complete.
The facility repairs about 20 vehicles a year and employs 12 ICBC
Optional insurance reduced
From the Vernon Morning Star March 16, 2008
ICBC is moving to trim optional auto insurance premiums after
recording a huge
$642-million profit for 2007.
Optional premiums are to fall three per cent or an average of $16,
while basic rates stay frozen — the public insurer had warned last
fall it might have to increase them due to rising injury claims.
"Our early analysis indicates that there is no need for additional
rate changes for basic insurance," ICBC president and CEO Paul
The reason for the cut in optional rates is that motorists and
police are increasingly winning the war against auto thieves in B.C.
The continued trend of falling car thefts has translated into fewer
claims and lower insurance costs.
Annual payouts due to car theft are down more than $30 million or
almost one third over the past five years.
ICBC spokesman Doug McClelland credits the use of the bait car
program to catch thieves in the act, as well as innovative new
tactics being used by police to curb chronic car thieves.
But he said the single biggest factor has been the growing
prevalence of vehicle immobilizers that stop thieves from hot-wiring
a car if the key is absent.
Most of ICBC's record profit — far above the old record of $373
million in 2004 — came from investment earnings.
The one-time sale of ICBC's Central City property in Surrey
contributed $135 million alone.
The profit jump pushes ICBC's accumulated surplus up 40 per cent to
$2.1 billion. The money is needed to cover long-term claims payouts
and has now hit its target level ahead of schedule.
Critics frequently contend that ICBC seeks to lower rates on
optional insurance — where it competes with private firms –
ICBC has cut its optional premiums in three of the last four years,
while boosting basic rates in two of those years.
But McClelland said there's a good reason for that.
Basic premiums primarily pay for injury costs, which continue to
rise at a consistent rate of around $100 million per year, in
contrast to vehicle damage costs that have trended downward.
"By and large those costs are going in different directions," he
Actual insurance costs in 2008 will depend on each vehicle, motorist
and factors like where they live and what coverage they select.
McClelland said the typical motorist who buys optional coverage from
ICBC has seen only a net increase of $2 in their insurance costs
over the past five years —
The optional rate reduction takes effect July 1.
"After five years, rates effectively have not changed for most
customers," he said.
January 9, 2008 another email was sent to Reg Fredrickson regarding the
in the ditch up Bear Creek as seen on CHBC TV news ... I was wrong it was 18
cars in the ditch on one street, 5 vehicles in the ditch up Bear Creek, and 3 in
the ditch on Hayman Road, which totals
26 vehicles in the ditch in one day in
CHBC News TV story called "Crashes Galore"
more about road maintenance
Road Rage School
If you have
a dispute with ICBC - ICBC Fairness Process
have a complaint about ICBC, you can
try here first.
Customer Relations may also be able to help you.
If you are not satisfied that you have been treated fairly after the FPRD has
reviewed your situation, you may wish to contact the
Commissioner. Please note that the Commissioner does not deal with
decisions involving the assessment of liability. You can write to the
Commissioner at the following address:
ICBC Fairness Commissioner
P.O. Box 86686
North Vancouver BC V7L 4L2
If you remain dissatisfied after attempting to resolve your issue through the
available remedies, you may contact the Office of the
BC Ombudsman and they will
review your concerns to determine whether or not they will investigate your
An Okanagan Legal Blog
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