How we assess responsibility in a crash

Many factors help us determine responsibility (also known as fault or liability) in a crash. Legislation covering the rules of the road, previous court cases, and information about the crash are all taken into account.

Collecting information about the crash

To determine responsibility, we first need to collect information about what happened at the crash. Your claims representative will ask you what happened and get statements from other drivers, witnesses and passengers if needed.

Your claim representative may also:

  • review police reports 

  • consult with the estimator who reviewed the vehicle damage

  • review the rules of the road (as set out in the Motor Vehicle Act)

  • look at past court decisions for similar crashes

We will send you a letter notifying you if you have been found partially, fully or not responsible for the crash.

Witness statements

We want all the information possible to help resolve your claim. Witness statements may be used along with vehicle damage and incident statements to better understand what happened. Anyone present who saw the crash can be a witness. If an independent witness provides their information at the scene of the crash, a claim representative may contact them. Witnesses can also submit a witness report online.

Crash examples

​You may find it helpful to review our crash examples, which help our claim representatives assess responsibility. For each crash, we describe what the rules of the road are and which sections of the Motor Vehicle Act apply.

Crash responsibility and premium amounts

If you’re found responsible for a crash, your premiums will likely go up. In some circumstances, such as when a learner driver is responsible for the crash, premiums may not be affected.

For an accurate estimate of how a crash will impact your premiums, contact ICBC or your Autoplan broker once you’re within six weeks of your policy's renewal date. Unfortunately, we’re unable to provide estimates outside of that time. 

Disagree with the responsibility assessment?

If you disagree with your assessment, talk to your claim representative about your options. Find out more about responsibility assessment disputes.