Your Vehicle is a Write off- Now What?

Have you ever been in a car accident and ICBC tells you that your vehicle is a write-off? This means that the repair costs are more than the fair market value of the vehicle.

In these circumstances, ICBC will pay you what they determine is the fair market value of your vehicle.

While write-offs are common, many drivers are not aware of their rights during the settlement process. Frequently, people feel that the replacement value ICBC offers is too low relative to their perception of what the fair market value really is.

What if You Disagree With ICBC`s Settlement Offer

If you disagree with ICBC`s valuation of your vehicle we suggest the following:

  1. The simplest option is to negotiate ICBC`s While doing so, it is a smart idea to gather evidence from websites or print media that show the price at which similar vehicles are put on the market for. You can obtain information from Craigslist, Buy and Sell, etc. Remember, the price on these websites is the asking price not necessarily the fair market value.
  2. You should also gather all receipts that indicate any upgrades you have made to your vehicle such as new brakes, new tires, etc. The basic point you are making is that your vehicle is worth more than the average car of similar year, make, and model.
  3. Remember to be friendly and respectful when you negotiate with ICBC. The adjuster/evaluator is more likely to respond positively to a friendly person who is making reasonable points.
  4. If the adjuster is not prepared to give you the fair market value of your vehicle, you can proceed through the Evaluation Process. For this, you and ICBC will need to retain separate evaluators to negotiate a fair market value of your vehicle. You will need to notify your ICBC adjuster in writing by registered mail of your intention to dispute their decision. Once you notify ICBC, you will have 21 days to appoint an evaluator and notify ICBC of your evaluator’s name, address, and telephone number.  You have two years from the date of the accident to proceed through the Evaluation Process. You will also have to pay the cost of your evaluator. For a $150 fee the Fournier Auto Group will provide you with an independent opinion on the fair market value of your vehicle.
  5. If you disagree on the value of your vehicle, you have the right to seek arbitration. If you and ICBC cannot agree on the choice of an arbitrator, the British Columbia Arbitration and Mediation Institute can appoint an arbitrator. The arbitrator will communicate with both you and ICBC, gather relevant information, and set a date for a decision. You have two years from the date of the accident to proceed through the Arbitration procedure. You and ICBC will split the cost of the arbitrator.

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Saro Turner
Saro joined Slater Vecchio LLP in June 2009. In addition to compensation for pain and suffering, he has obtained compensation for past and future loss of income, health care expenses and more.