I had the misfortune of being rear ended by a dodge ram pickup while I was waiting for a red light. The driver must have been distracted as he did not apply his brakes and plowed right into me. I was temporarily stunned, my 4Runner was pushed along the guard rail and then into the vehicle in front of me. After getting out, assessing the situation and determining no one had been seriously hurt, I called 911. Within moments we had a fire engine and ambulance on the scene. The firemen collected the basic information from each of the drivers and the ambulance attendant looked at the back of my head, which was bleeding from my head being driven into my head rest. I called my wife and she came down to pick me up.
When I reported the accident to ICBC later that evening the lady who answered was competent and professional. She immediately wanted to know if I had been injured and counselled me to see a doctor. After collecting the information she assured me, subject to validation by the witnesses and RCMP officer, that I was not at fault and gave me information on getting a rental car that ICBC would pay for. She gave me all the information I subsequently needed to complete the claim, including the name of my claim manager.
The next day I picked up a rental car and the process was painless. My claim manager called and after making sure I was okay, carefully went through how the claim process worked. I was able to go to the towing company and pick up some personal items that I could not retrieve at the accident as my glove compartment had jammed shut from the impact. Did I mention I was hit real hard. After that the vehicle would be towed to the ICBC yard where an adjuster would make a determination whether my 4Runner would be fixed or written off. If it was written off then yet another ICBC individual would let me know what ICBC would pay in compensation. This would be where the rubber hits the road.
Ten days after the accident the adjuster called me and told me what I already knew - my 4Runner was a write-off. He took the time to explain that he had assessed the general condition of the 4Runner and I felt his assessment was fair. Of course, in the meantime I had been doing my homework, figuring out what my old 4Runner was worth and how to replace it. Last year we had thought about replacing the 4Runner, which was 13 years old, but we had decided to keep it since it was running perfectly and I really loved it. It was the perfect vehicle for me. It turns out that 4Runners don't depreciate quickly when you drive them off the lot so we decided to get a new one. It has a few more gizmos but Toyota has kept the same design ethos, so it is a truck in SUV clothing, not the other way round, as is the case for the competition.
So, the only thing remaining was the ICBC settlement. The settlement process has three potential steps: first offer, appeal to supervisor and adjudication by a third party. By this time I was armed with 23 recent sales ads for 4Runners of similar vintage which I had normalized to my year and model. I felt confident I knew what my old 4Runner was worth. Ironically ICBC called about the settlement while I was driving my brand new 4Runner off the lot, with the Toyota salesman sitting in the passenger seat. Since he had kindly set up my iphone I was able to answer using the vehicle phone service. Talking to ICBC in this situation did not seem like the best thing so I asked them to call back. They called again the next day and I waited with bated breath to hear the number. It was very reasonable and I feel confident I would have been able to replace the old 4Runner with something equal with the settlement.
ICBC appears to be a well run organization. All the people I dealt with were pleasant, professional and knowledgeable. So, thank you ICBC for making the whole process as painless as possible.