While it’s important not to villainize every employee at a major corporation, the unfortunate truth is that ICBC insurance adjusters are paid to minimize your claim payout. Their job performance is partly determined by how little they spend on car accident claims. Though an adjuster may tell you that they’re working for you, they are primarily working for the company – and like any company dealing with thousands of daily transactions, ICBC is always looking to reduce costs on its own end.
After you file a claim, ICBC will arrange for you to meet in person with an adjuster. This meeting is not mandatory; in fact, it can often have a negative effect on your claim, since the meeting is used by adjusters to glean specific information from you that can reduce the amount of your payout. This is especially true for personal injury claims.
Instead of a face-to-face meeting, you can provide a handwritten statement to the adjuster detailing the car accident and any injures that occurred. This is your only obligation. Your statement can be brief, merely containing your name, a sentence about the accident, and a few words about the injuries incurred. At all times, be aware that your statement could be used against you in a lawsuit. Do not omit any important facts, but do not disclose too much.
Dealing with ICBC can be an intimidating and often confusing process. In the middle of a crisis, many people are unprepared for the different tactics ICBC uses to minimize their compensation.
If you live in the Greater Vancouver, British Columbia area and need to file a claim with ICBC, please contact the experienced ICBC settlements and claims lawyers at Stephens & Holman for a free consultation before you discuss your motor vehicle accident with an ICBC adjuster.