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ICBC leaves homeowners on hook for thousands after car crashes into condo – BC

Residents of a condo building in White Rock, B.C., are fighting with ICBC about payment for fixes needed after a car crashed into the building late last year.

Strata vice-president and treasurer Ken Harverson told Global News it was on Dec. 3, on an icy and snowy night when a car was coming down Blackwood Street, ran the stop sign, clipped another vehicle and ended up crashing into the side of the building.

“Both airbags were deployed,” he told Global News. “So obviously it was a big enough impact for that to happen. And we have pictures, of course, of what it looked like. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. That was good news.”

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Harverson said they got all the information from the driver and sent off the documents and quotes to ICBC to get the damage to the building repaired.

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He said they got a response on Jan. 23 telling them what amount ICBC would cover to fix the building.

“They went back to 1988 and said, ‘OK, it’s 1988, this is the amount that it would cost’,” Harverson said.

ICBC bases property damage settlements on the actual cash value of the property, which includes depreciation.

This means that because the building was built in 1986, ICBC is willing to cover the cost of repairs, but not the full amount.

Harverson said ICBC knocked off 30 per cent for depreciation, which leaves homeowners on the hook for $6,000.

He said ICBC told him to put the claim through the strata insurance but he said they have a $15,000 deductible anyway and if they claim it on their insurance their rates will go up.

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“Right now, the strata, as you’re well aware, even finding insurance is very tough,” Harverson added.

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The building is for adults 55 years and older, with most in their late 60s and 70s on a fixed income.

“I’m sorry, but I just think morally it’s wrong,” Harverson said. “And it’s basically a bully tactic.”

In a statement to Global News, ICBC said that owners of property damage as a result of a collision with a B.C. motorist can pursue damages through the legal system.

The organization said the Enhanced Care model has not changed the way property damage claims are processed.

“We’re legally responsible, on behalf of the B.C.-insured motorist who caused the damage to the property, for restoring the property to the condition it was prior to the loss, not betterment of the property,” ICBC said in the statement.

Harverson said he feels this system is just not morally right.

“I don’t want to involve our insurance company if I don’t have to involve them. And I’d rather that we get this thing resolved. And it’s not a HUB issue or an insurance issue. It’s an ICBC issue.”

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Trevor Halford, BC Liberal MLA for Surrey-White Rock and Shadow Minister for Transportation, Infrastructure Affordability and ICBC, told Global News he thinks this incident is evidence of a “complete lack of common sense” and is “completely unacceptable.”

“Here we are under David Eby’s ICBC and we’ve got a house that’s been smashed into. And these people are fighting to get it back to its original condition. It shouldn’t be a fight. This was months ago. This should have been done immediately,” Halford said.

“This is somebody’s home. They had nothing to do with the accident. This house was smashed into by a vehicle and ICBC needs to take care of this. It should not be months in the making. Get it done and get it done now.”

Harverson said they are still not sure exactly what to do but the so-called no-fault system seems broken to him.

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It’s not no fault. It’s our fault. Or it’s going to be your fault.”

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