Underinsured Motorist Protection (UMP) is part of your Basic Autoplan policy, and protects you when the at-fault driver does not have enough coverage to pay for your damages. You are covered for up to $1 million from your own policy, even if the other driver has no insurance at all, or does not have enough insurance. The relevant statutory provisions are contained in Part 10 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulations.
If there is a dispute as to the availability or amount of UMP coverage, the issues must be resolved through arbitration under the Commercial Arbitration Act. Such decisions can be found here on the ICBC website.
In GG v ICBC, the Plaintiff was injured in Washington State, and sued the at-fault party there. As any amount awarded by a Washington court would not be binding on ICBC, the Plaintiff asked ICBC to settle for the amount of the policy limits of the at-fault driver, and then to go to UMP arbitration to determine the value over and above this amount. ICBC’S lawyer, however, would not consent to this. Despite this, the Plaintiff still proceeded to settle his claim in Washington, and then proceeded to commence an UMP arbitration hearing. The lawyer for ICBC opposed this, claiming that the Plaintiff did not have standing to do so.
The arbitrator agreed with the lawyer for ICBC, ruling that there are only two ways to gain standing at an UMP arbitration proceeding: the consent of ICBC, or having an unsatisfied judgment against the tortfeasor.
37. The essence of the dispute between the parties regarding the entitlement issue is whether there is a “third way” for a Claimant to establish the right to proceed to arbitration. ICBC says there are only two ways to establish that right, namely (1) an unsatisfied judgement against the tortfeasor or (2) the consent of ICBC. The Claimant says there is a third way, namely, by admissions of the tortfeasor, both as to fault for the accident (legal liability and legal entitlement) and as to an inability to satisfy any damages that may be awarded…The Claimant asserts that in this case compelling him to obtain judgement in the Washington State action is unfair, particularly having in mind the uselessness of an assessment of damages under Washington State law. I agree. However, in light of the legal authorities, I am constrained to conclude that the Claimant is not entitled to UMP compensation because he has not established the necessary prerequisites.