If you, your spouse, or your children die in a car accident in British Columbia, the surviving family members are entitled to payment of certain benefits from ICBC. Besides funeral expenses, which are covered up to $2,500, the payments vary according to who has passed away.
If a parent is killed who was considered the “head of household,” the spouse would receive a lump sum from ICBC, along with a weekly amount paid over the course of 104 weeks. Each child in the household would receive similar compensation, paid to their Public Guardian and Trustee. If a child is killed, the surviving adults would each receive a lump sum, but no weekly payments. Common-law partners must have lived together for at least two years before they have a right to these benefits.
You and your family may be entitled to further survivor benefits if another insurer was involved in the collision.
If another person was responsible for the accident causing the fatality, then there may be a claim for dependents’ economic loss under the Family Compensation Act of British Columbia.
No one is ever prepared for a fatality; the consequences for those left behind are always devastating. While money can’t replace the loss, the last thing you should be worrying about in the wake of a family member’s death is an insurer minimizing your payout.