Sometimes it costs more to repair a vehicle than the vehicle is worth. When this happens, we generally pay you an amount based on its actual cash value at the time of the car crash.
How a vehicle is written off
After you make a claim under your
Specified Perils coverage, an estimator determines whether it should be repaired.
A vehicle is written off when the costs of repairing it are greater than replacing it.
To make this decision, your estimator will:
- estimate your
vehicle's repair cost, then
- calculate the vehicle's actual cash value at the time of the crash less its value as salvage.
How we determine a vehicle's value
To calculate a vehicle's value, we do a
complete inspection, considering:
- year, make and model
- factory options
- after-market equipment
- odometer reading
- mechanical, tire, exterior and interior condition
- receipts for recent maintenance or major repairs
We also consider similar models offered for sale privately and through dealers.
If your vehicle is written off,
you may still need to pay the deductible that applies to your coverage. If 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 further with a material damage estimator.
Find out more about Owner Retention
Under extenuating circumstances, if a vehicle is deemed a total loss and you wish to keep your vehicle, owner retention may be an option. It is important to understand that the vehicle will be branded either Dismantle Parts Only (DPO) or Salvage.
Repairing vehicles branded DPO is prohibited because of the severe extent of the damage. These vehicles can be used for donor parts only. The vehicle’s registration certificate will be permanently recorded the DPO status. The vehicle can never be registered again for operation or use on a highway.
Vehicles that are branded as Salvage can be repaired and operated on a highway only after the following process:
- The Salvage brand will be applied to the vehicle to prevent future licence and insurance transactions
- The vehicle will be required to pass a series of inspections before and during the repair process, such as a mechanical/safety inspection and, depending on the vehicle type, will likely require a structural integrity inspection.
- Detailed inspection requirements for Salvage vehicles seeking to transition to Rebuilt status should be obtained from the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement Branch of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
- ICBC will not be accountable for any expenses or costs associated with the repair, inspection and relicensing process.
- If eventually qualifying for relicensing, the passed inspection documentation must be presented to your broker/agent where the vehicle will be permanently branded as having a “rebuilt status”
Not satisfied with your settlement?
You can have your writeoff amount, called a' total-loss settlement' reviewed by an estimating services manager.
If this doesn't resolve the matter, you are eligible for vehicle damage arbitration. Under this process, either you or ICBC can apply to the
British Columbia Arbitration & Mediation Institute.