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Are ICBC Insurance Adjusters in a Conflict of Interest?

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The simple answer is “yes”, let me explain:

If you have a not at fault MVA, you have two claims:

(A) First, you have what is called a “Part 7 claim”. This arises out of your own insurance contract with ICBC and has nothing to do with the other driver, the man or woman who caused the accident. This covers a small portion of wage loss and treatment cost. With respect to your Part 7 claim, the adjuster has an obligation to act in good faith. If the adjuster pulls any cute tricks, there can be significant consequences for ICBC.

(B) Secondly, the very same adjuster is dealing with your second claim, the so called “tort” (negligence) claim. Although this claim is officially against the driver who caused the accident, ICBC steps into that negligent driver’s shoes to deal with you and to eventually pay damages for such things as total wage loss, pain and suffering and future losses for wages and treatment. In this situation, you are not the adjustor’s client. The adjustor is representing the interest of the negligent driver or actually the interests of ICBC as it is ICBC who must pay damages on behalf of the negligent driver. So, on this second claim, the tort claim, the adjustor does not have to act in good faith.

In order to minimize or negate payment, adjustors can and do a variety of tricks designed to fool you into settling your claim short. Examples are:

(1) Telling you that they are offering you the maximum compensation for your kind of injury.
(2) Telling you that your claim is closed.
(3) Telling you that your claim is not compensable.
(4) Telling you that your claim must go through WorkSafe
(5) Telling you that ICBC is not required to pay for certain heads of damage such as loss of opportunity or future care or loss of capacity to earn income, items that you may very well be entitled to receive.
(6) Telling you that they are acting in your best interest.

Trusting an ICBC adjustor to fairly assess the value of your ICBC claim is like trusting your ex-spouse’s lawyer to fairly assess what you should get in a divorce settlement.

Is the ICBC adjustor in a conflict of interest in dealing with an unrepresented injured person? As my old dad used to say: “does a dog have a bark”?