November 2, 2017

Accelerated Depreciation

Someone collided with your car and caused damage.  ICBC found the other party to be at fault and paid for the repairs.  Later, when it comes time for you to sell it or trade it in, you find that the buyer is low-balling you.  The buyer says he’s only going to offer you so much, less than market value, because of the prior damage.  You negotiate, you say that the repairs actually should raise the value because the vehicle now has updated parts but it’s to no avail. You end up selling the vehicle for less than comparable vehicles that weren’t in an accident.

You’ve experienced what ICBC and we lawyers call “accelerated depreciation”.

Most vehicles do depreciate as time passes. But yours, damaged in an accident, has depreciated at an accelerated rate compared to comparable vehicles.

So, will ICBC compensate you for accelerated depreciation?

Under your own policy of insurance, the answer is no.

However, the at-fault motorist who struck you usually has insurance.  Will that insurance cover accelerated depreciation?

The answer is yes.

But you have to prove it and convince ICBC that you’ll win in court on this issue.

That’s where you will probably need the help of an experienced lawyer to assemble the evidence and legal precedents, to show ICBC that you have suffered accelerated depreciation and you need to be compensated.  That evidence will likely be in the form of a report from a qualified vehicle appraiser, to establish that a loss has occurred and to put a dollar value on that loss.

Unfortunately, many people sell their repaired vehicle before the appraiser can examine it.  This reduces the value of the report. Best practice is to have the appraiser examine the vehicle just before you sell it.  We lawyers know that “preserving the evidence” increases your chance of winning an insurance dispute.

Consult with a lawyer with experience in ICBC matters before you sell your vehicle after a collision. That way, all your losses, including accelerated depreciation, will be compensated.


If you have been in a motor vehicle accident and have questions about your claim, contact Paul Seale of CBM Lawyers to arrange a free no obligation consultation.