Been in a crash? From physio to foam rollers, here are 9 things that'll help you feel like yourself again

April 11, 2019

Getting into a car crash is a pain in more ways than one. All you want is for life to go back to normal, but your body's bruised, your car's in the shop, and it's turned your normal daily routine upside-down. How can you get better, faster?

This month, we boosted the coverage you get with your car insurance and have given you more options so you can choose the health care services that are right for you. We've also made it easier for you to get the help you need right away, in many cases, before you even need to see your doctor.

There are a lot of benefits available to you in the event of a crash, but here are 9 things you can get through your car insurance if you ever find yourself injured after a car crash. Be sure to check in with your ICBC claims specialist to see if they apply to you:

  1. Counselling: It's not uncommon for someone to feel uneasy about driving after getting into a crash. Crashes of any severity can be a traumatic event. To help you heal and get back behind the wheel, you're pre-approved to see a registered clinical counsellor or a registered psychologist up to 12 times within 12 weeks after a crash, before getting a referral from your doctor. ICBC pays up to $120 per counselling treatment and $195 per treatment with a psychologist. We may even cover more treatments if your doctor thinks it'll help you get better.

  2. Acupuncture: Acupuncture services are a type of service that involves the stimulation of specific pressure points on the skin through the use of thin needles and other therapeutic techniques such as massage and cupping to promote, maintain, or restore health. After a fender bender, some find that acupuncture can ease the pain by reducing muscle tension, improving blood flow, and improving your overall range of motion. Even before you see your doctor, you can see an acupuncturist for up to 12 treatments within 12 weeks, and ICBC pays up to $88 per treatment.

  3. See a chiropractor: If your life is disrupted with back pain, neck pain, sprains, strains and other issues involving your joints, chiropractors can provide non-invasive adjustments to help re-align your spine, reduce pain and promote healing. ICBC pays up to $53 per treatment and covers 25 treatments within 12 weeks after a crash without a doctor's referral.

  4. Get a massage: A Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) can help your mind and body heal after the stress of a car crash. It's quite common to feel sprains, strains, bruises and stiffness in parts of your body. Massage can help to reduce pain and swelling, improve circulation and range of motion and speed up the recovery process. ICBC covers up to $80 per treatment, and you can see an RMT up to 12 times within 12 weeks of a crash even before you see your doctor to get a treatment plan. You may be eligible for more treatment if your doctor feels that it will help you get better.

  5. See a physiotherapist: They can help create a treatment plan to restore your flexibility, strength, and balance, and maximize the way you move and function in your life. Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques to reduce your pain and increase your function, such as massage, hot and cold packs, mobilization and manipulation. ICBC covers 25 treatments within 12 weeks of a crash and pays up to $79 per treatment, without a doctor's note.

  6. Check in with a kinesiologist: These experts in human movement can manage your injury by assessing your needs at work and home. You're likely to walk away with a custom exercise plan that you can continue on your own, too. You're pre-approved to see a kinesiologist up to 12 times within 12 weeks after a crash, before getting a referral from your doctor. ICBC pays up to $78 per treatment. We may even cover more treatments if your doctor thinks it'll help you get better.

  7. Foam rollers, weights, resistances bands and more: Did your physiotherapist or kinesiologist suggest that you buy resistance bands, dumbbells, or a foam roller so that you can keep up with your exercises at home? You may be reimbursed for reasonable medical services and equipment to help promote your recovery.

  8. Meal prep: As with cleaning the house, putting food on the table can be a monumental task when your body is in repair. Through your "'homemaking benefits" in your car insurance, you could be eligible to have someone come and help prepare your meals.

  9. Housekeeping: Cleaning the toilet is terrible on any given day, but it's worse when you can barely bend over to grab the toilet brush. If you live alone or are responsible for keeping the family house in order, you may be eligible to hire someone to help you get the dishes done.

Watch our video to learn how ICBC and health professionals are working together to help injured customers recover:

How could these benefits apply to you?

Here's some examples of how your enhanced car insurance coverage can work to help you get back on track:

  • Victor was in a crash leaving him with a few light bruises. However a week later, Victor drives by the crash location and he's suddenly overcome with anxiety and stress from the crash. This happens again a few days later so Victor visits his doctor. His doctor advises he seek trauma counseling for three weeks to help him recover and this is paid for by ICBC accident benefits.

  • Lee was injured in a crash and has lower-back pain. She's diagnosed with a herniated disc, so she's referred to a physiotherapist for back treatments and also an occupational therapist for a home assessment. Lee is self-employed so her OT recommends she buy an ergonomic chair and sit/stand desk, which ICBC pays for, to help relieve her back pain and get back to her regular routine.

  • Tanya was in a crash and her doctor diagnoses her with a mild concussion. Her doctor refers her to see a kinesiologist for treatment. Tanya doesn't have a gym membership, so they go to her neighbourhood rec centre to use those facilities to learn and perform her recovery exercises. Tanya also purchases a resistance band to exercise independently at home. Her kinesiologist recommends she complete 12 sessions and, on top of the treatment sessions, ICBC accident benefits also pays for her resistance band and gym fees for those sessions.

  • Wallace is injured in a crash with several deep cuts in his left arm and leg. His doctor assesses that he can still use his arm and leg regularly but recommends a nurse also help treat Wallace's wounds. ICBC accident benefits pay for a nurse to come to his home once a week and help change his bandages.

These examples give a general idea of what your enhanced ICBC insurance coverage can include for injuries. These benefits are available to anyone, whether you caused the crash or not. While we've made improvements to get you immediate access to the treatments you need, we also recommend you visit your doctor as soon as you can so they can help diagnose your injuries and create a treatment plan that's unique to you.