A Port Alberni family is out thousands of dollars following a recent crash — and they say it’s largely due to no-fault insurance at ICBC.
It was March 5 when Jonathan Tranfield was driving his family home to Port Alberni from Nanaimo.
They were travelling north on the Island Highway when a truck came flying out of the Nanoose Bay Petro Canada parking lot in front of them.
“The vehicle straightened out then hit the throttle again one more time and then ended up shifting completely sideways and I hit the driver’s door,” said Tranfield.
A BC Ambulance was close and paramedics tended to the family while they noticed the other driver walk away and start hitchhiking. It turned out the truck was stolen. Police haven’t yet caught the thief.
But despite the harrowing hit-and-run, Jonathan and his wife say the frustrating part of their ordeal has been dealing with ICBC.
For most of the past month, Tranfield has been getting around in a rental truck provided by the insurer, one that’s left him feeling short-handed.
“I need a 3/4 ton to 1-ton truck. This one’s not capable of a lot of the stuff I need to do for my business,” said Tranfield, who owns Tranfield Yardworks, a landscaping company.
They say ICBC isn’t able to provide an equally large truck in the interim until their truck is fixed.
The Tranfields have also been told they must pay their deductible, and their $2,000 loss-of-use coverage was quickly used while they wait for their truck to be fixed.
“We were hit by an intoxicated person in a stolen vehicle with our kids in the car and you’re telling me we have no coverage and we owe a thousand dollars. I just don’t understand,” said Angela Murray, Tranfield’s wife.
ICBC says fortunately the family did have appropriate insurance but unfortunately an adjustor made a mistake by telling the customers it was waiving their optional collision deductible of $1,000.
“That was incorrect and we sincerely apologize for that error. They will have to pay that deductible to activate their collision coverage,” said Greg Harper, an ICBC spokesperson.
Harper says even under ICBC’s previous system, the Tranfields would’ve had to pay a $750 deductible in the same circumstances.
As for the delay in getting the family’s truck fixed, Harper says repairs have been taking longer.
“The collision repair industry is facing some challenges and these are challenges that we are not only seeing here in B.C. but throughout North America. There are issues with parts. There is a shortage of technicians,” said Harper.
Tranfield and his wife say they’re out thousands in lost income from their business because they don’t have their truck to use and they can’t help but feel they would’ve been better served before no-fault insurance was introduced.
The Port Alberni couple says they have been able to access massage and physiotherapy services for their family without having to pay out of pocket which they have appreciated about the relatively new no-fault system at ICBC.