CASE LAW - Lau v Insurance Corporation of BC
When plaintiff Yu Jung Lau purchased, licensed and insured a 2005 Subaru Impreza with ICBC he declared that he would be the vehicle’s principal operator. On December 28, 2009, the plaintiff Victa Lau, aged 22, was driving the vehicle and was involved in a collision with another vehicle for which he was found to be solely at fault, which resulted in the total loss of the Subaru, and claims against the plaintiffs by the occupants of the other vehicle.
ICBC was able to show at trial that Yu Jung Lau misrepresented himself to be the principal operator of the Subaru when in fact the principal operator was Victa Lau. Because of this misrepresentation, the insurance coverage was forfeited.
The Honourable Mr. Justice Verhoeven commented that judging by the number of similar cases that have come before the courts, it seems likely the plaintiffs’ lack of understanding of the consequences of a false declaration as to the vehicle’s intended principal operator is shared with many members of the public. The result in this case should serve as a warning.