When the snowflakes fall, people become acutely aware of safety on the road. While it’s important to have good tires and a properly tuned vehicle, it is also critical that your insurance coverage is adequate. A surprising number of vehicle owners are needlessly exposing their personal assets through inattention to their policy limits.
The minimum third party liability coverage in B.C. is $200,000. Anyone who does not obtain coverage beyond this level is taking a significant risk that they will be personally liable for damages arising from an accident caused by their negligence or that of someone driving their car. There are many cases decided by judges and juries each year where the award of damages exceeds $1,000,000.
A recent example is Cikojevic v. Timm 2010 BCSC 800
In that case, a 17 year old young woman sustained a head injury and soft tissue injuries in a car accident. The trial judge awarded her $1,486,287.16, which included $1,000,000 for her lost opportunity to pursue a career in policing. Accidents involving several people can obviously multiply the potential exposure of the liable owner.
We recommend that vehicle owners take a moment to check their insurance coverage and give careful consideration to whether it protects them adequately. Extra coverage can be obtained from ICBC and other insurance companies for a relatively small cost.
Nobody plans to be involved in an accident but you can plan to have proper insurance coverage in the event that you are.