THE government is taking steps to create a new fairness officer focused on ensuring ICBC’s decisions, actions and practices are transparent and fair, as the corporation transitions to Enhanced Care coverage on May 1.
“Under the new care-based model, ICBC will ensure every person who makes a claim receives all the care and benefits to which they are entitled,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Establishing this new, more independent fairness officer position will strengthen people’s trust in ICBC that complaints, disputes or procedural matters will be fairly addressed.”
If passed, proposed amendments to the Insurance Corporation Act will fulfil government’s commitment to advance trust and confidence in ICBC by establishing a fairness officer. To ensure greater independence from ICBC, the officer will be appointed by government.
The officer will have the authority to review and make recommendations to resolve customer complaints about the policy and process ICBC used to make a decision in their case. As well, the officer may make broader recommendations to enhance fair decision-making.
“Our customers expect to be treated fairly,” said Nicolas Jimenez, President and CEO, ICBC. “We welcome the new independent fairness officer, as they will help give British Columbians the confidence of knowing that we are accountable to them and that they will be treated fairly by us.”
To ensure transparency, the legislation outlines that the fairness officer must report each year on complaints received, determined to be within scope and heard. ICBC will also be required to submit an annual report to the minister responsible for ICBC, outlining its response to any recommendations made by the officer.
The fairness office is expected to be up and running later this year.