BC Tesla driver sped away with major win against ICBC

Feb 1 2023, 11:43 pm

ICBC has been ordered to pay a Tesla driver more than $2,700 in damages over his hit-and-run claim.

Andre Rink won his fight in a Civil Resolution Tribunal against ICBC after his car was damaged in a parking lot in November 2021.

ICBC denied coverage because it said Rink filed a false statement since the damages to the vehicle were not consistent with vehicle-to-vehicle impact.

Rink said he noticed the damage just above the wheel. He made a claim with ICBC that day.

However, an ICBC estimator said the damage was “abrasive” with “coarse markings.” The estimator suggested the damage was more consistent with the damage a vehicle would endure that collided with concrete or wood.

The tribunal argued that against the estimator’s finding, ICBC did not have sufficient evidence to prove Rink was lying since the insurance company itself does not use the notes as “expert evidence.”

The Tesla driver would have been covered by ICBC whether or not it was a hit and run or he collided with stationary objects.

“This means that ICBC’s only basis for denying coverage is its allegation that Mr. Rink made a wilfully false statement,” the tribunal explained.

ICBC’s lawyers made two arguments to have the tribunal dismiss Rink’s claims.

They first claimed Rink would not agree to have an expert look at his Tesla for the CRT dispute before he fixed the vehicle.

“ICBC did not explain why it wanted to wait until the CRT’s facilitation process before hiring an expert to look at the Tesla, even after it knew Mr. Rink’s intentions.”

Secondly, ICBC argues Rink did not take his Tesla to a service center to obtain collision data.

“Mr. Rink undisputedly downloaded the vehicle data that was available online and gave it to ICBC, but there was nothing about collisions in that data. ICBC argues that Mr. Rink failed to take ‘all available steps’ to obtain “possible relevant evidence,” the decision reads.

The tribunal member said ICBC would need to provide evidence that not providing vehicle data impended ICBC’s ability to show relevant evidence of this claim.

“Here, ICBC’s arguments about what may have been available are speculative. There is no evidence about what Tesla’s sensors detect and record,” tribunal member Eric Regehr said. “In other words, there is no evidence that a relatively minor scrape would result in retrievable collision data.”

Since Regehr argued ICBC could not prove Rink damaged his vehicle, it was ordered to pay $2,584.19 for damages.

ICBC is also on the hook for paying $32.84 in pre-judgment interest under the COIA and $125 in CRT fees.

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