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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 Collision, Comprehensive or 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:

  1. estimate your vehicle's repair cost, then
  2. 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.

Your deductible

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.

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.

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