This was a collision coverage claim against Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, ICBC, (King v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, 2010 BCSC 1740) for a declaration of insurance coverage relating to a car accident which occurred at the intersection of Highway No. 1 and the Brunette Avenue exit in the City of Coquitlam, British Columbia. ICBC alleged that in breach of the terms of his learner’s licence, the claimant was alone in the vehicle at the time of the accident, and says that the claimant advised ICBC when he first reported the claim to ICBC dial-a-claim that he was alone in the vehicle.
ICBC also alleged that the claimant made a wilfully false statement and after being denied insurance benefits the claimant changed his evidence and said that he had a passenger with him at the time of the accident. ICBC contended that by making a wilfully false statement, the claimant breached his contract of insurance, and thereby forfeited his rights to insurance benefits. The court agreed with ICBC and refused to declare that the claimant was entitled to insurance coverage.
When cross-examined about information recorded by ICBC in its claims reporting system, the claimant denied advising the ICBC Dial‑A‑Claims representative that he was alone in the vehicle at the time of the accident. The initial claims report, after recording that the insured was alone in his vehicle, contains a note that the claimant said that he was going to pick up his daughter on the way to the Billy Joel concert. The claimant again denied telling that to ICBC when he phoned in his Dial‑A‑Claim report. However, the judge pointed out, “the information about the Billy Joel concert can only have come from Mr. King. The plaintiff later said that he did not remember telling the Dial‑A‑Claim representative that he was alone in the vehicle and said that he does not really recall exactly what he said to the ICBC Dial‑A‑Claim representative.”
ICBC called the call centre adjuster who took the first call from the claimant when he initially reported his claim to ICBC dial-a-claim. The adjuster had 15 years’ experience with ICBC and had worked for four years at the call centre. The adjuster explained how an initial call from a customer is recorded in ICBC’s CRIS or claims reporting system. The adjuster produced a printout of the CRIS screen, in which she recorded the claim .
The court concluded that the claimant had breached the conditions of the insurance plan and his licence by driving his vehicle when not accompanied by a qualified supervising passenger. The claimant also breached the terms under which he was insured by making a wilfully false statement and therefore the claimant had forfeited his entitlement to insurance money.
This an yet another example of why it is important to speak to a personal injury lawyer before you talk to ICBC. Making an ICBC dial-a-claim report is an important first step in any car accident claim in British Columbia and it is important that this ICBC report is accurate and truthful. Check out my short making an ICBC dial-a-claim report video.
Posted by Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness B.A., LL.B