IMPORTANT: If your accident occurred on or after April 1, 2019 the following may or may not apply.
If you were injured by a driver who was in breach of his or her insurance, the good news is that your ICBC claim is largely unaffected. As an innocent victim, you are not punished by the driver’s (or owner’s) irresponsible behavior. However, it is important to check the insurance policy on the vehicle, especially if the driver is not the registered owner of the vehicle.
Driving a Vehicle Without the Owner’s Consent
If the driver has the vehicle without express or implied consent of the owner, then you cannot claim against the vehicle’s insurance policy. You may still be able to claim against insurance carried by all drivers with a valid BC driver’s licence, but the vehicle itself is considered uninsured.
Categories of Breach
Any use of a vehicle outside of what is permitted under the insurance policy will generally constitute a breach. The most common breach is probably a false principal operator declaration: the person who uses the vehicle most often is not listed as the principal operator. Other types of breaches include: giving a material false statement to ICBC, driving the vehicle for work purposes when it is not insured for commuting to work, driving the vehicle more frequently than is permitted under the policy, driving in breach of your driver’s licence, driving while impaired and letting someone drive your vehicle while impaired or in breach of his or her driver’s licence.
Breach of Policy and Denial of No Fault Benefits
If you breached your insurance, but you did not cause the accident, you can still claim against the driver and/or vehicle that did cause the accident. However, you may be denied your no-fault benefits. The most common way that this breach occurs is by giving a false material statement to ICBC. Any time you communicate with ICBC, if you make a false statement, or even if you withhold relevant information, you may be in breach of your policy. This is where retaining a lawyer early in your claim can be very important to protect your rights.
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