David Eby, Attorney General, has released the findings of a ministry review of ICBC’s claim settlement and litigation practices.
The review was conducted by ministry legal counsel in summer 2018, with the goal of assessing ICBC’s bodily injury claim settlement and litigation practices from a litigation perspective, including assessing whether ICBC policy or practice contributes to increasing injury settlement and litigation costs.
The review examined whether ICBC was responsible in any observable, systematic way for making inappropriately low settlement offers or unnecessarily taking cases to trial and thus unnecessarily generating legal costs. It found no support for these concerns. The report recommended some improvements in ICBC’s claims management and found that the current legal framework for resolving motor vehicle claims disputes is unsustainable.
The review was conducted using aggregate data, as well as 100 randomly selected claims files closed between 2013 and 2017. The files included those involving minor injury claims, as well as major or catastrophic injury claims. The review also included files where claimants were both represented and unrepresented by legal counsel, as well as files where a lawsuit was filed and files where a lawsuit was not filed.
ICBC has been and will continue to take steps that will address the operational recommendations contained in the report. The Ministry of Attorney General will address broader concerns through ongoing work to reform auto insurance in British Columbia.
This review was conducted as part of the government’s ongoing efforts to reduce costs, complexity and delays in motor vehicle accident disputes and put ICBC on a path that makes the Crown corporation work for British Columbians again.
The full report, including the terms of reference and recommendations, can be found here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/ICBC_Litigation_Review_2018.pdf