A BC woman unable to work after a car accident highlights what she says is an “unfair” flaw in ICBC’s new no-fault insurance program.
Donna Yurkovich was struck from behind by a police officer on duty in Delta in late June, leaving her with whiplash and a spinal injury.
The injuries were severe enough that Yurkovich, who is a self-employed registered masseur, had to take two weeks off work and only returned part-time afterward.
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“My job is incredibly physical, so I couldn’t move on and get back to work after being hit so hard,” she said.
But Yurkovich told Global News he received an unpleasant surprise in July, when he learned that ICBC would not cover a week of his lost wages and pay the rest at 90 percent.
“That is a great income for me. I am a single income household. I don’t have long-term care. It is not (covered by workers’ compensation), I do not have EI. I have no sick days or other benefits to claim, unlike the police officer who hit me, I will mention it, ”he said.
To make matters worse, Yurkovich said she has been buried in red tape trying to prove her income from last year, which was already lower than normal on paper, due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
“It’s really, really unfair,” he said.
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ICBC’s new insurance model, officially dubbed “Enhanced Care,” went into effect on May 1.
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The model eliminates the right of drivers to sue in most cases, limits payments for minor injuries, provides direct coverage for medical and rehabilitation benefits, and replaces some lost income.
“If you are injured in an accident and are unable to work, Enhanced Care will help you continue to cover your daily costs and bills, paying 90 percent of your net income up to $ 100,000,” the insurer said in a statement to Global News. .
“There is a seven-day waiting period before income replacement begins.”
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Personal injury attorney Robyn Wishart said significant flaws persist with that income replacement benefit, particularly in the wake of COVID-19.
“People are maybe not earning what they used to or trying to catch up on lost income, so you are creating vulnerability,” he said.
People who are students, early in their career or who work part-time are also penalized for their inability to seek future lost income, as the formula locks them in their pre-crash income, he said.
“Historically, what would happen is that people could consult the assistance of an attorney or an advocate to help them manage the paperwork, and then the deficit would be recovered at the end of the recovery period or, if absolutely necessary, during the process. of a lawsuit, ”he said.
Yurkovich said she is speaking in hopes of raising awareness of the coverage gap, which she feels was buried in the launch of the new program.
“This is completely outrageous, it’s unfair,” he said.
“In fact, what they are doing is completely reprehensible.”
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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