A common questions that my clients ask me at the outset of their ICBC claims is how their premiums will be affected in the event that they are held to partially responsible for the motor vehicle accident that they were involved in.
Not only can an adverse liability ruling affect their premiums, but also the value of their ICBC settlements and ICBC payouts as well.
Generally, it is the case that if you are held to be 25% or less responsible for an accident, then your premiums will not go up. However, if you are held to be more than 25% responsible for the motor vehicle accident, then your premiums will likely go up, unless you have a lengthy claims-free history.
If you have been 50% or more responsible for three accidents in three years, then you will likely have to pay a multiple crash premium, which is $1000. Each subsequent motor vehicle accident in which you are 50% or more responsible will lead to a further $500 each time.
Sometimes, it may not be possible for an adjuster to determine fault, due to conflicting statements, a lack of an independent witness, or an inconclusive police report. In such situations, if the matter does not proceed to court, liability will normally be assessed at 50/50. Again, depending on whether or not you have a lengthy claims-free record, your premiums may increase.
In motor vehicle accidents where the damage is more minimal, you may wish to simply pay for the damage yourself, so that any claim against your insurance for the payment would not affect your premiums.