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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 determine a vehicle's current market value, we consider:

  • the year, make and model
  • custom options or equipment added to the vehicle
  • the mileage on the vehicle
  • mechanical, tire, exterior and interior condition

We also consider similar models offered for sale privately and through dealers.

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.

Not satisfied with your settlement?

You can have your write-off amount, or total loss settlement, reviewed by a material damage supervisor or estimating services manager.

If this doesn't resolve the matter, you may be eligible for arbitration​. Either you or ICBC can apply to the ADR Institute of BC (external). Contact your total loss handler or estimator for more information.

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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