ICBC Further Increasing Staffing Costs

Posted on by Mussio Goodman

The NDP government says it’s trying to cut costs at ICBC, then why are they increasing their costs instead?

On March 29, 2019, the NDP government passed an Order in Council eliminating the two-year limitation period to submit medical expense receipts to ICBC for coverage under part seven benefits. Instead, they shorted the limitation period to 60 days.

The NDP government is trying to sell the new no-fault system to the public on the basis that ICBC is going to pay more medical expenses to all parties involved in a motor vehicle accident after April 1, 2019. However, in reality this new rule does the exact opposite by taking away more rights.

The new provision found at Section 88.01 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation reads as follows:


Requirement for receipts 

88.01 (1) If an accident occurs for which benefits are provided under section 88, the insured must provide to the corporation a receipt for the expenses incurred that will be compensated as benefits under that section no later than 60 days from the date that those expenses are incurred.
(2) The corporation is not liable to an insured who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with this section.

This provision is for motor vehicle accidents that occur on or after April 1, 2019.

The expenses include medical equipment for some very catastrophic injuries such as:

(i) a wheelchair;

(ii) a medically prescribed bed;

(iii) bowel and bladder equipment;

(iv) aids for communication, dressing, eating, grooming and hygiene;

(v) transfer equipment; and

(vi) a ventilator;

People that are severely injured, such as quadriplegia, amputation, severe brain injury, etc. are expected now to submit receipts within 60 days even if the terribly injured individual is still in the early stages of recovery. Do you really think these terribly injured individuals will have the wherewithal of meeting such a short deadline? Can they even get to a post office to mail the receipts?

Even for the less injured individual, it is going to be an onerous task to remember to constantly be submitting receipts to ICBC. Indeed, people are busy in life and to expect a claimant to constantly be submitting receipts to ICBC is unrealistic.

So why are the NDP and ICBC putting in this short-fuse rule? Are they hoping that a claimant misses the deadline so that they can save money by not reimbursing proper medical and rehabilitation expenses? Of course not because according to what the NDP is selling to the public, the system is supposed to be providing more not less treatment expense coverage.


ICBCs’ Motive

What is the other motivation for doing this?

Any business owner would understand that the more times you have to touch a file the more expensive it is to administer the file. There is approximately 60,000 new claims annually so with this short-fuse rule, rather than an adjuster having to address payment of medical expenses on a periodic basis, now the adjuster has to constantly be administering small checks and reimbursement to claimants because there is such a tight timeline for submission of the receipts to ICBC. If the receipts have to come in every 60 days, then you are looking at a minimum of six times a year were an adjuster will have to review the receipts, issue a check, mail out the check, etc. This is clearly administratively onerous resulting in significant increase in costs and the need for more staffing at ICBC.

Is this just an oversight by the NDP government and/ or ICBC management on the extra cost this 60 day short-fuse requirement has created? Do these new policies by the NDP government ensure the need for more unionized ICBC employees? Is this an attempt by the NDP government to hope people miss the deadline so that they don’t have to pay out money for necessary medical expenses and treatment?

Whichever way you look at it, this is an unfair change of the rules which penalizes the injured while increasing the administration costs at ICBC.