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Last updated Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 04:39 PM

Information for ICBC customers affected by sulfuric acid spills in Trail

The recent sulfuric acid spills in Trail have led to some of the largest claims losses ICBC has ever experienced, in terms of both volume and cost. As a result, it may take more time than usual to review your claim and be in touch. We thank you for your patience as we process these claims as quickly as possible. 

We know you have questions, that's why we've set up a special phone line to answer general questions about the acid spills and your coverage. Please call 1-866-566-7199.

If you purchased ICBC's comprehensive coverage and are concerned you may be affected by the sulfuric acid spills, we encourage you to report a claim at icbc.com/claims or call 1-800-910-4222, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Reporting a claim 

Customers who purchased Comprehensive coverage and are concerned their vehicle may be exposed to the acid spills, are encouraged to report a claim with ICBC to have staff inspect their vehicle.

You can report a claim online or by phone at 1-800-910-4222, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You will need:

  • Your insurance papers and driver’s licence number
  • The time, location and date the incident occurred
  • If possible, any evidence supporting your claim including receipts, photos, dash cam footage and/or witness contact information. 

Once you’ve reported your claim, you will receive a claim number. An ICBC claims adjuster will review your claim and contact you as soon as possible about next steps.

When you'll hear from us

We’ve received a high number of claims as a result of the acid spills in Trail. You can expect to receive a call from an ICBC representative within a week of reporting your claim to reassure you we are looking into your file. We thank you for your patience in advance.

Assessing the damages

Once your claim has been verified by an adjuster, an ICBC estimator will contact you to assess the extent of damages in person. Generally an estimator will contact you within 30 days.

  • Arrangements will be made to transport your vehicle to the inspection location. This could include having your vehicle towed and/or, if it is safe to do so, drive your vehicle to the Trail Claim Centre.

Next, a thorough inspection of your vehicle will be completed by our estimating staff to determine if there is evidence of sulfuric acid exposure.

  • Combating fraud is a top priority for us. We are obligated to fully inspect each vehicle to confirm the claims are legitimate and the damages are in fact related to the acid spills.
  • All inspections are completed at the Trail Claims Centre where our staff have been trained by a technical expert to identify possible damages. Other third party inspections will not be recognized and will not determine the outcome of your claim.

After the inspection is completed, an ICBC representative will be in contact to discuss the vehicle damage findings.

  • At this point, if you purchased Loss of Use coverage, ICBC will reimburse expenses related to a rental vehicle, taxis and/or public transit – up to your coverage limit.

Processing your claim

It is uncommon for ICBC to receive such a high volume of claims within such a short period of time. We want to thank our customers for their patience as we work as fast as possible to process these claims.

ICBC currently has dedicated a team of 30 staff including adjusters, estimators and vehicle settlement representatives to prioritize these claims. This is in addition to the two estimators and one adjuster that usually works in Trail.

These are complex claims that require extra time to process as each vehicle may have been exposed to varying degrees of sulfuric acid, affecting different parts and components of the vehicle. We want to make sure there’s enough time to fully inspect each vehicle and confirm all damage being presented is in fact related to the acid spills.

How we access the damages

These are complex claims that require extra time to process as each vehicle may have been exposed to varying degrees of sulfuric acid, affecting different parts and components of the vehicle.

We have retained a leading Canadian engineering firm that specializes in automotive corrosion. Engineering experts from the firm are guiding our own trained and experienced estimators in determining the level of contamination for each vehicle.

Because of the complexity of these claims, all inspections are being completed at ICBC's Trail Claims Centre where our staff have been trained by a technical expert.

It's important to note other third-party inspections will not be recognized by ICBC and will not determine the outcome of your claim with us.

Current claims status

With our efforts, customers can expect to have their vehicle inspected within two to three weeks of reporting a claim.

We found many customers are reporting a claim as a precaution. In fact, from the vehicles we have estimated so far, we have deemed approximately 75 per cent have no evidence of exposure or damage from the acid spills – and this number is continuing to increase on a daily basis.

While we understand it can be frustrating for customers waiting to have their vehicle looked at, with the additional claims staffing and other initiatives we have put in place, we are currently on a very positive trajectory of estimating in the range of 100 vehicles per day, which is a significant effort.

Once again, we thank you for your patience as we process an unprecedented amount of claims as a result of these acid spills. We are committed to being transparent and will continue to keep you updated about the situation.