A very expensive mix-up – almost

Authority Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

Anya’s car was in an accident. ICBC told her that she didn’t have adequate insurance but it would give her full coverage if she paid a penalty. When she was served with notice that she was being sued for the other driver’s injuries she tried to pay the penalty but was told the offer was withdrawn. Anya was scared and went to the ICBC Fairness Commissioner for help, but was told it took her too long to accept the offer. She then complained to us that ICBC had given her mixed messages about the penalty offer.

We asked ICBC for all its correspondence with Anya. We read the letter where ICBC initially offered the penalty. The offer clearly had a deadline. It looked like Anya was out of luck. But we also reviewed the emails from the adjuster in charge of Anya’s case and he referred to the letter as a formality telling her to ignore the conditions set out in it until they knew more about the other driver’s injury. It looked like the adjuster had changed the terms of ICBC’s offer. Instead of the specific deadline in the letter, the adjuster changed the deadline to when they learned about the other driver’s injury. Anya kept emailing ICBC asking about the driver’s injury not realizing the deadline for the penalty offer had passed. We consulted with ICBC, explained that we felt the terms of the offer had been changed and asked if they’d re-open the offer to Anya. ICBC agreed and Anya agreed to the offer, potentially saving her a lot of money and worry.

Category Driving and Transportation
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2013
Location The Lower Mainland