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​​​​​If your vehicle is a write-off

When it costs more to repair a vehicle than the vehicle is worth, we call this a write-off. (You may also hear it called a total loss.) When this happens, we generally pay you an amount based on its value at the time of the incident.

How a vehicle is written-off

After you make a claim under your Collision, Comprehensive or Specified Perils coverage, an estimator determines whether it should be repaired.

To make this decision, your estimator will:

  1. Estimate your vehicle's repair cost, then
  2. Calculate the vehicle's actual cash value at the time of the incident less its value as salvage.

A vehicle is written-off when repairing it would cost more than the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle.

The ACV is the current market value – what your vehicle would have sold for in the local market just before the damage happened.

If the vehicle is a write-off, you’ll be paid a settlement based on its actual cash value.

Write-off agreement

When you make a claim, your adjuster may ask you to sign a form called a Write-off Agreement that authorizes ICBC to tow the vehicle and, should the vehicle be written-off, to dispose of the vehicle and sell the vehicle for salvage (for example, for parts). While the vehicle may be sold before your claim is settled, this won’t affect your settlement amount. Your adjuster will explain this agreement to you.

How we determine a vehicle's value

To help with determining the ACV, we use Mitchell International, a third party company. 

Mitchell researches the market area to find comparable vehicles either sold or listed for sale.  They review advertisements from online sources as well as dealer quotes, where appropriate.  The criteria used to determine market value includes:

  • The vehicle’s year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Average mileage
  • Vehicle condition
  • Vehicle features

Your deductible

If your vehicle is written-off, you may still need to pay the deductible that applies to your coverage. If the claim was for a collision and you're not at fault, the deductible may be reimbursed or waived.

As a general rule, we don't allow you to keep your vehicle after it's written-off. If there are extenuating circumstances, you may wish to discuss owner retention with a material damage estimator.

Options to dispute your settlement

Please contact your claim representative if you have questions about the settlement process. 

If your claim is covered by your Autoplan Collision, Specified Perils or Comprehensive insurance and you're unable to reach an agreement with our representative, you can request a review by one of our supervisors or managers. 

If this doesn't resolve the matter, it must be resolved by arbitration. Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution by a third party, specially appointed arbitrator. Either you or ICBC can apply to the ADR Institute of BC (external).

Cancelling or transferring your insurance

When your vehicle is written-off, you need to either cancel your insurance policy or transfer your insurance policy to another vehicle. Please contact your Autoplan broker to discuss your options.

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