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
Specified Perils coverage, an estimator determines whether it should be repaired.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 - 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). Contact your claim representative 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.