COURT CASES on VALUE of CAR if WRITTEN OFF
If you have been in a motor vehicle accident, and your car has been declared a write-off by ICBC, however you are not happy with the price being offered, what can you do ?
The first thing you should do is request that ICBC provide you with a document entitled AutoSource Valuation Report. This report takes into consideration the make, model, year, and specifications of your vehicle, and searches various sites that advertise cars for sale, such as Craigslist, Kijiji, Auto Trader, Canada.com, etc … After deducting normally about 8-10% of the asking price for these vehicles, an average amount is then calculated for the market value of your vehicle. From here, adjustments are made to account for such things as the condition of the interior, the condition of the exterior, new tires, and mileage. Once these additional amounts are factored in, a final amount is arrived at, and HST is added to this amount. Depending on liability, a deductible may be applied. If this occurs, and it later turns out that you are not at fault in any way, then your deductible will be waived, and returned to you.
With respect to the value of the car that is arrived at in the AutoSource Valuation Report, ICBC will usually give you the opportunity to present “three comparable ads” to show that you should be given a greater value for your vehicle. This will sometimes work in your favour, and sometimes not. If you are not able to persuade ICBC to pay you more, then contrary to public opinion, you cannot commence legal proceedings in an attempt to obtain a greater amount. Pursuant to Section 176(2) of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act (formerly section 142), you will need to commence arbitration under the Commercial Arbitration Act.
In 476605 B.C. Ltd. v ICBC, a Master confirmed that it has no jurisdiction to deal with disputes with ICBC over the value of your vehicle in the event of a write-off. The Plaintiff’s appeals to both the Supreme Court of British Columbia and Court of Appeal were dismissed.
 I find that the courts do not have jurisdiction to deal with coverage disputes, given that there is mandatory arbitration set up by s. 142. In Ajvazi v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, 2006 BCPC 87, Her Honour Judge Rae, at para. 10, said:
…I appreciate that the Claimant believes he ought to have the right to pursue the matter in this Court, but the statute imposes a mandatory forum for resolution of these disputes, and this Court is excluded from that process. There are a number of cases which have reached the same conclusion; namely Goldie v. Grewal,  B.C.J. No. 1035; Sidhu v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia,  B.C.J. No. 1998; Suttie v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia,  B.C.J. No. 1587.
She goes on to caution that the claimant, if he wishes to pursue arbitration, must move quickly because he is statute barred two years after the date of loss.
 This plaintiff is four years post-date of loss. Rather than pursue arbitration he started this action, and then this action remained dormant. He came to court in December 2007 to defend a motion for dismissal for want of prosecution of this action.
 Now I find that he indeed should have gone to mandatory arbitration and that I have no jurisdiction to deal with the coverage dispute.
 I, therefore, have no choice but to conclude that I do not have jurisdiction to deal with a coverage claim. The plaintiff was required to proceed under s. 142 (now s. 176) of the Revised Regulation (1984) under the Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act and to use the arbitration mechanism set up in the Act.
 There is a two-year limitation period and he is now statute barred.
 I do not have jurisdiction to extend that deadline, but I wish I did. If I had authority to grant relief from forfeiture, I would have exercised it.
When the matter was appealed to the Supreme Court, the Court said:
 The Master concluded that s. 117 deals with decisions with respect to liability and s. 142 deals with coverage or quantum. I agree with that characterization. It follows that the present dispute is not a s. 117 exempted dispute, but a quantum or coverage dispute as defined in s. 142.
 The plaintiff submitted that because the defendant had not given credit for the new engine, it had in effect denied liability with respect to that claim and therefore the claim was really one of liability. I do not agree with that characterization. This is a single claim, the values of different components contribute to the figure representing the total loss. The plaintiff’s position is that $18,000 was not a proper value, in part because the truck had a relatively new engine. If that assertion had been accepted, the value of the claim would have been higher. However, the dispute remains a dispute with respect to quantum.
 The plaintiff submitted that the conduct of ICBC amounted to bad faith or a denial of coverage that took the dispute out of s. 142, citing Robinson v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia (1999), 9 C.C.L.I. (3d) 284 (B.C.S.C.); Insurance Corp. of British Columbia v. Tabory,  B.C.J. No. 79 (S.C.); Insurance Corp. of British Columbia v. West 1994 CanLII 1264 (BC CA), (1994), 96 B.C.L.R. (2d) 188 (C.A.); Spence v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia, 2005 BCSC 1838 (CanLII), 2005 BCSC 1838. In my view, those decisions are distinguishable. There has been no denial of coverage in this case. On the evidence presently before the court, there has been no conduct on the part of the defendant amounting to bad faith or a de facto denial of coverage.
 The plaintiff contends that the defendant did not place any or an appropriate value on the vehicle’s engine and specialized equipment. It may be that his contention is correct. It contends further that the Master erred in failing to give any or adequate consideration to the value of the equipment in her analysis of the issue. However, the issue is not whether the valuation was appropriate, but whether the court has jurisdiction. The Master concluded that the court does not have jurisdiction and on re-hearing. I am satisfied that her conclusion was correct.