Another B.C. strata says ICBC won't cover full cost of vehicle damage to its property

WATCH: Residents of a townhouse complex in Maple Ridge have dealt with two crashes damaging their property. First, they describe a tough experience through ICBC. So when it happened again, they paid a massive deductible and went through their own strata insurance to avoid the headache. Emad Agahi explains.

Another B.C. strata corporation is coming forward with complaints about ICBC’s coverage after its property was damaged by an insured driver.

The complaint follows concerns from residents of a White Rock condo building who are fighting the public insurer over full compensation of damage caused by a driver during a snowstorm in December.

Residents of that property say ICBC won’t cover $6,000 of the repair costs because its calculations included depreciation on the 35-year-old bulding.

Residents in a Maple Ridge townhouse complex tell Global News they’ve had a similar experience — not once, but twice.

The first case happened in 2021, when a driver smashed into the complex’s concrete sign, homeowner Brian Smith explained.

“We dealt directly with ICBC, and it was really a nightmare to get a settlement from them. We ended up getting a smaller sign because they didn’t want to cover the whole quoted price of the same sign,” he said.

In January another driver crashed into strata property, this time the complex’s gate.

After the frustrating experience going through ICBC, the strata corporation went directly to its own insurer first this time, Smith said.

That’s left them on the hook for a $10,000 deductible which they now hope to recoup through ICBC. Just like in the White Rock building’s case, Smith said ICBC is trying to claim depreciation on the property.

“It’s frustrating,” he said.

“We don’t think we should have to pay out of pocket for something that was damaged by a vehicle. It wasn’t our fault.”

BC Liberal housing critic Karin Kirkpatrick said ICBC should be covering the full cost of repairs.

“They’ve got quotes from different contractors about what that damage is going to cost, and that is what they should be basing the reimbursement on — the actual cost of the repair to bring it up to what it was prior to the accident, not from what it was 40 years ago,” she said.

“It shouldn’t go to the strata corporation insurance. The deductible from the strata corporation insurance is often going to be in excess of what the damage is.”

ICBC would not agree to an in-person interview, and issued a statement to Global News.

“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),” the insurer said.

“We base property damage settlements on the actual cash value, which includes depreciation. This is standard industry practice for auto insurers.”

It’s an answer that doesn’t satisfy Smith, whose strata is now dealing with two insurance companies over something it had nothing to do with.

“I don’t know why it should cost us any money,” he said.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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