BC driver fights back against ICBC after fender bender

May 10 2023, 11:57 pm

A Burnaby resident is disputing ICBC’s offer to write off his vehicle saying their assessment is based on vehicles that are “incomparable” compared to his.

On April 17, Chik Lai was driving to New Westminster to pick up his son from school when he approached an intersection and a vehicle suddenly turned left in front of his vehicle.

Lai said he didn’t have enough time to stop and hit the vehicle that pulled up in front of him.

Lai said ICBC determined he was not responsible for the accident but his 2022 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid was damaged and unrepairable.

Considering the car shortage in Canada, Lai said he was getting worried.

“Most brands have a wait time of two years, and even second-hand cars are selling for the price of new ones,” he said.

ICBC said during the damage assessment it determined the vehicle was considered a total loss and ICBC could pay actual cash value (ACV) for the vehicle.

According to Lai, ICBC initially offered him around $38,000, which was claimed to be based on the average price of a similar vehicle in the market.

However, Lai requested the full valuation report and discovered the assessment was based on two vehicles he believes are incomparable.

“I discovered that they only based their assessment on two vehicles, one of which was the same trim as mine but with 12,000 km more on the odometer and listed for $43K, and the other being a lower trim level,” he said.

ICBC responded to the claims saying it “does a comprehensive inspection of a vehicle deemed a total loss to determine its ACV.”

“We take into consideration: the vehicle year of manufacture, make and model, factory options, mileage, condition of the exterior, interior, mechanical and tires, and receipts for after-market equipment upgrades or recent repairs. ICBC utilizes an independent company to assist in the determination of the ACV and reviews local vehicle sale publications and internet sources.”

ICBC further explained that it offered $38,414.31 as Lai’s ACV however, with GST and PST the value comes up to $43,024.03.

A $500 deductible was also waived.

“We have done research on this value and have confirmed it is fair and reflective of the market,” an email from ICBC to Lai reads.

The Burnaby resident said ICBC refused to negotiate.

ICBC confirmed that as of this week, Lai was paid $43,024.03 including tax for the loss of his vehicle.

“His vehicle had pre-existing damage which led to a $1,300.00 deduction,” a statement from ICBC added.

The insurance company added that Lai mentioned he had receipts for tires and window tint so once ICBC receives the receipts “we can review them to consider further compensation.”

Lai continues to argue that the vehicle ICBC used to benchmark his damaged Hyundai was listed at $43,000 before tax.

“So I think the discrepancy is coming from the 43K versus the 38K that they offered to me before the tax,” he said. “So after tax that should be like 47K.”

Lai has not specified an exact amount he would like from ICBC however, “I told them I want a more comprehensive research … ICBC is not giving me the amount that I can buy a secondhand in the market right now.”

Lai added he received a call from ICBC Wednesday afternoon saying it is willing to negotiate.

According to an email from ICBC to Lai, customer service has forwarded Lai’s research to the appraisal company for review.

However, Lai said his fight is not over yet.

When he purchased his vehicle for around $45,000, he said he purchased vehicle replacement insurance through a third party.

He alleges this other company owes him money so he is in for a much bigger fight with them.

Nikitha MartinsNikitha Martins

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