For over 20 years the Insurance Corporation of BC, ICBC, has denied injury claims when there is minimal damage to the vehicles. When I started as a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver in the mid 1990’s this program was referred to as ICBC’s Minimal no Damage or No bash no Cash policy. The modern Low Velocity Impact Policy, LVI, has been largely ineffective in Supreme Court trials as Judges reiterate that people can suffer injury in the absence of damage to the vehicles.
Since the release of a critical government review of ICBC, the Corporation has been forced to make changes to its internal structure and review the minimal damage claims. In 2012 ICBC was also found to be one of the worst insurance companies when it comes to customer service. The ICBC Low Velocity Impact Program is one of the most despised ICBC policies by claimants and it should be no surprise that its use will no longer be advertised and will recede into the background for now.
However my experience representing personal injury claimants against the ICBC Low Velocity Impact Policy informs me that ICBC fully intends to continue to deny minimal damage claims . ICBC continues to do so in their actions and behaviour on individual personal injury files. Take a read of this just released injury case where the defence lawyer argued that there was very minimal damage to the vehicles and claimant suffered no compensable injury. The Judge awarded the claim $50,000.00 for pain and suffering but in my view ICBC was completely successful in thwarting that claim as the claimant was asking for $275,000.00 for her pain and suffering. This case was heard before the government released its’ report but validates the denial of minimal damage claims.
ICBC may have to take the Low Velocity Impact Policy underground or simply apply it in a more common sense way to minimal damage injury claims. However, in my view I don’t think injury claim lawyers have seen the last of this ICBC Low Velocity Impact Policy of claim denial.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.