Buying ICBC Car Insurance: What you Need to Know

ICBC Optional Coverage

Buying a car can be tricky. There are so many options, new or old, fancy or durable, standard or auto, and on top of that there are so many different features to consider.  For those who are car aficionados, the process is exciting.  For the rest of us, it’s overwhelming.  Once you have chosen your car and decided on all those details, the tough decisions are not over.  Next, you must purchase your ICBC car insurance and decide which of the many options you want.  This process can be confusing and ICBC brokers don’t always explain the importance of the different options.  Here is what you need to know next time you buy or renew your ICBC car insurance.

Third Party Liability Coverage

This is the protection you buy so that if you are in an accident and it is your fault, you will not be personally responsible to pay the other person for their injuries.  You must purchase a minimum of $200,000 in coverage.  This seems like a lot, but in the world of injury claims it is not!  ICBC claims can easily exceed $200,000.  In fact, Simpson, Thomas & Associates prides itself on the high rewards it has gotten for its clients, many of which have been higher than $200,000 and have gone upwards of 1 million dollars.  We advise our clients purchase a minimum of 2 million dollars in Third Party Liability coverage from ICBC.  If you don’t, then you risk ICBC coming after you personally if they pay an injured person over $200,000.

Uninsured Motorist Protection

This coverage protects you from the drivers who have only purchased the minimum $200,000.  At Simpson, Thomas & Associates we see clients with large claims against such drivers all the time.  To protect people from this situation, ICBC sells Uninsured Motorist Protection (“UMP”).  UMP coverage will kick-in when ICBC uses up all of the at-fault driver’s coverage.    ICBC requires you have 1 million dollars in UMP coverage, but this is not always enough. Some claims are worth over 1 million dollars but the injured person cannot collect more than that if he only has 1 million in UMP and the other driver doesn’t have higher third party liability limits.  To be safe, you should purchase excess UMP.

Loss of Use

This option covers your expenses to rent a vehicle, use taxis, or take public transit while your vehicle is being repaired.  This coverage is not as crucial as UMP or extra Third Party Liability Coverage, but maybe important if you need a vehicle and will not be able to afford a cab, transit, or a rental while you wait for your vehicle to be repaired.

Collision

Collision insurance covers the repairs to your own vehicle if you are at fault for the accident.

Comprehensive

This is coverage applies when your vehicle or something inside it gets stolen or it is damaged by fire or bad weather.  It covers the cost of replacing stolen items and repairing damage.  If you park outside or in a high crime area, this could be very important.

Specified Perils

This is similar to Comprehensive, but covers less types of damage.  It is cheaper, so may be worth considering instead.

Optional Rental Vehicle Coverage

ICBC overs liability, accident benefit, UMP, Comprehensive, and Loss of use coverage for customers to apply when renting other vehicles.  This could be beneficial if you travel lots and rent vehicles when you travel.  It is important to make sure that the rental companies you use abroad accept the ICBC Autoplan Rental Vehicle Policy.  If they don’t or you don’t drive when travel too much, this option is not necessary.

New Vehicle Replacement Plus/Replacement Cost Coverage

A common complaint we hear from our clients is their new vehicle is involved in an accident and ICBC will only pay a percentage of what the vehicle is worth or.  If you have a new car and are eligible (have a 20% or better claim-rated scale discount) you can purchase these options to make sure ICBC refunds you the original purchase price or fixes the vehicle with new parts from the original manufacturer.

We hope this guide helps you next time your purchase or renew your car insurance.

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