Disputing ICBC’s Decision on Vehicle Repairs
The principal disputes that one comes across when dealing with ICBC and your vehicle repairs are:
- You and ICBC cannot agree on a fair market value for the repairs to your vehicle.
- You and ICBC disagree on what repairs need to be done to completely repair your vehicle so the vehicle is exactly like it was before the accident.
- What is the fair market price of your vehicle if it is a “write-off.”
Often times, you may just be dealing with a “difficult” ICBC adjuster so it’s worth your time to speak to his/her supervisor at the Claims Centre to see if you can get a more reasonable approach on your claim. If the supervisor is not prepared to move closer to your views, you can proceed through what is called the Evaluation Process. The steps you need to complete are as follows:
- You need to notify ICBC in writing by registered mail of your intention to dispute their decision. The letter should be sent in care of the adjuster with whom you are dealing.
- You must appoint an “evaluator” to act on your behalf within 21 days of sending your letter to ICBC and advise ICBC of your evaluator’s name, address and telephone number. The best thing to do is to hire an evaluator who carries some level of expertise and has been involved in the process before. There are a number of individuals you are not allowed to hire such as family members or individuals with a stake in the outcome. Note that you have to pay the cost of your evaluator.
- Within 7 days of being appointed, the ICBC evaluator and your evaluator must meet or communicate.
- Within 21 days of being appointed, the ICBC evaluator or your evaluator must exchange written reports.
- Within 45 days of being appointed as an evaluator, the ICBC evaluator and your evaluator must attempt to agree on an award and submit the agreed upon award in writing to ICBC or notify ICBC in writing that an agreement was not made.
- If your evaluator and the ICBC evaluator cannot come to an agreement on an award within the 45 day time limit then you may apply to appoint an arbitrator who will then decide the matter after a review of the written reports of the two evaluators. Usually, the arbitrator can make a decision based on the written reports, but occasionally more information is required.
In summary, ICBC has an internal directive on how to deal with disputes called the Evaluation Process. Because you have to shoulder the cost of the evaluator and arbitrator, often times it is just not economically feasible to pursue your dispute.
You can also take the route of Small Claims Court or have this dispute over vehicle repairs dealt with in your personal injury lawsuit by your lawyer.