What to do if Injured while Operating a BC-Insured Vehicle in the United States?

In 2021, British Columbia (BC) moved to an unfair and unjust no-fault model that prevents those injured in motor vehicle accidents from suing tortfeasors except in extremely limited circumstances. However, many people are unaware that they still have access to Uninsured Motorist Protection (UMP) when they are injured in a motor vehicle accident while travelling in the United States.

UMP is included in the basic Autoplan insurance offered by ICBC and is designed to provide financial support if a tortfeasor does not have sufficient insurance or has no insurance with which to cover the costs of the accident. For example, just across the border in Washington State it is estimated that almost 1/3rd of vehicles on the roadway have no insurance coverage, so having access to UMP can make a significant difference for an injured motorist or family member. Further, Washington State’s minimum insurance coverage is only $25,000, so even if the tortfeasor has insurance, it may not be enough to cover the costs of the accident.

UMP coverage applies to licensed owners and operators of motor vehicles as well as members of their household. UMP also provides coverage in other circumstances, and you should consult a lawyer promptly after an out-of-province accident to determine whether you can access coverage in your circumstances.

When a BC motorist or household member is injured in a motor vehicle accident in the United States, they need to promptly report the accident to their insurance company and provide the relevant details. Failure to do so could prevent one from claiming under the UMP policy.

It is imperative that one not resolve their injury claim in the United States without first speaking to a BC personal injury lawyer who can advise them of their rights and obligations when it comes to accessing UMP. Failure to comply with your contractual obligations could prevent you from claiming under the UMP policy.

For more information about UMP, no-fault, or any other personal-injury-related inquiries, reach out to Bryan Fitzpatrick at [email protected] or 250-869-1127.

The content made available on this website has been provided solely for general informational purposes as of the date published and should NOT be treated as or relied upon as legal advice. It is not to be construed as a representation, warranty, or guarantee, and may not be accurate, current, complete, or fit for a particular purpose or circumstance. If you are seeking legal advice, a professional at Pushor Mitchell LLP would be pleased to assist you in resolving your legal concerns in the context of your particular circumstances.

It is prohibited to reproduce, modify, republish, or in any way use content from this website without express written permission from the Chief Operating Officer or the Managing Partner at Pushor Mitchell LLP. Third party content that references this publication is not endorsed by Pushor Mitchell LLP and in no way represents the views of the firm. We do not guarantee the accuracy of, nor accept responsibility for the content of any source that may link, quote, or reference this publication.

Please read and understand our full Website Terms of Use and Disclaimer here.

Legal Alert, Pushor Mitchell’s free monthly e-newsletter