Have you ever been told your motorcycle was a total loss by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC)? This meant your vehicle was not worth repairing and instead, you were entitled to a cheque for the ‘actual cash value’ or market value. The amount you received, however, was less than reasonable given your custom upgrades or recent repairs.
In the process of arriving at a dollar figure, ICBC uses a valuation tool known as, Autosource. This is a computerized program that searches local databases for advertised vehicles of similar make, model, mileage, etc. The adjuster will often calculate an average price from the search and present this amount as the actual cash value. While Autosource is capable of locating similar type vehicles, it is not always capable of noting the unique condition of a particular vehicle, such as if you recently upgraded the chassis, modified the engine or made significant general repairs. In order to negotiate an amount indicative of what you feel your market value is, consider these three options.
The first and simplest option is to gather all receipts noting your upgrades or repairs and any photographs depicting the condition of your vehicle. You should also gather comparable advertisements for vehicles of similar year, make, model and condition. To present your position effectively, visit the vendors to photograph the condition of advertised vehicles. Once you have a comparison portfolio, conference with your adjuster and the manager. Always present your position in a calm and rational manner. If this fails, you can proceed with either the Evaluation or the Arbitration procedures. It is important to remember you only have two years from the date of the accident to invoke the Evaluation or Arbitration options.
Under the Evaluation option, you and ICBC retain separate evaluators to negotiate with each other to arrive at a fair figure. To trigger this course of action, you must serve ICBC with written notice by registered mail. You then have 21 days to produce your own evaluator, of which some restrictions apply. You are not permitted to hire yourself, your mechanic, your employee or an employee of ICBC, a family member regardless of where they live or anyone living in your household. The evaluators then have seven days to contact each other and another 21 days to present the agreed amount or provide notice of their inability to reach a decision.
Your third option is to request the British Columbia Arbitration and Mediation Institute appoint an arbitrator. Within seven days, an arbitrator will gather all evidence and set a date in which a binding decision will be rendered. The arbitrator’s fee is split equally between you and ICBC. While any of these options may appear onerous, it is reassuring to know that you need not accept whatever amount you were offered initially.
As published in Power Sport News, Vol. 11, No. 2
Written by Daryl Brown
If you or someone you know has been injured, call Daryl Brown directly at 604-612-6848 or toll free at 1-844-BIKE-LAW or send him an for the location nearest you and to receive your free initial consultation.
At Daryl Brown & Associates, you do not pay our fees unless we successfully recover an award. NO RECOVERY. NO FEE.