Pursuing Vehicle Damage Claims Without Using ICBC

You should bring your vehicle in for inspection at the location requested by ICBC

When you are involved in a minor collision with another vehicle, the question of whether to involve ICBC to repair the vehicles will often arise in discussions between the parties involved in the accident. Regardless of whether you are the at-fault vehicle or the not at-fault vehicle, the answer is the same. You should involve ICBC.

The first reason to involve ICBC is that it does not cost anything to access ICBC’s resources including its certified repair shops and favorable hourly repair rates. Second, if you do not report the accident to ICBC and try to use the ICBC insurance coverage later you may be unable to pursue ICBC for any recovery, if you are outside the statutory deadlines for filing a claim.  As a result, you should report the accident to ICBC regardless of the severity.

The next thing you should do is bring your vehicle in for inspection at the location requested by ICBC which a certified repair shop is or an ICBC claim center.  This is a free service and does not commit you to having the vehicle repaired through ICBC.

You may think that it’s cheaper to go to a private collision repair shop and get your vehicle repaired without notifying ICBC.  However, unless you know someone at a private collision repair shop who will give you a great deal, chances are that going through ICBC is cheaper.  This is because ICBC has negotiated rates for labor charges across the Province, based on volume discounts. Therefore, chances are that the hourly rate ICBC gets is going to be lower than the one you can negotiate privately.

In summary, contrary to what some people feel, whenever you are involved in an accident involving damage to your vehicle, regardless of whether you are at-fault or not, access ICBC’s resources to get the best possible deal for the repairs.