If your vehicle was in an accident and you were not at fault, you may be entitled to accelerated depreciation. Here’s how to claim it.
After I posted how I was able to pay off my Tesla Model Y in just 14 months I received a lot of feedback. A common question was on how I was able to turn an accident into a positive by recouping some indirect costs through accelerated depreciation.
With that in mind, I will break down exactly what accelerated depreciation is and how to claim it. I will also share my own experience claiming it against my Tesla Model Y through ICBC in British Columbia, Canada.
What Is Accelerated Depreciation?
In short, accelerated depreciation is when an asset loses value faster than expected due to outside factors. For a vehicle, this occurs as a result of an accident.
Even though repairs can make vehicles like-new, if you have an accident against your vehicle it will lose value in the eyes of car dealerships and potential buyers.
In the United States, this is commonly known as diminished value. Although it varies from state to state, it’s largely common in most auto insurance policies. North of the border, however, it’s a different story.
How To Claim Accelerated Depreciation
Claiming accelerated depreciation comes down to proving your car has lost value due to the accident and having your insurance company recoup that ( or agreed-upon value) from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Again, this is straightforward enough if you live in the United States. Canada, not so much.
The Insurance Board of Canada does not recognize any provinces or territories in the country that allow for this coverage. This is because insurance in Canada covers direct loss repairs) and not indirect loss (value lost down the line).
How To Claim Accelerated Depreciation in Canada
Now, just because insurance companies in Canada and some States don’t outright offer this coverage, it doesn’t mean you can’t seek compensation. It just means you have to build your case and present it to the insurance company. Often this results in a small settlement to avoid litigation. If your case is a strong one, suing the insurance company and/or the driver at fault is an option. This can result in a higher payout.
Accelerated Depreciation in British Columbia With ICBC
In my case, recouping accelerated depreciation from $18,000 worth of damages to my Tesla Model Y was not easy. ICBC, the provincial insurance company, represents both parties. As such, there is no benefit for them to seek these costs from themselves. The ICBC website is also pretty clear that they do not offer coverage for accelerated depreciation.
To justify my loss I reached out to Carey at Coast Auto Appraisals. He was able to review the damage and put together a comprehensive package including comparables illustrating the loss on the car. Armed with this, I was able to get a small offer from ICBC. It was a fraction of what the actual expected loss would be so, at that point, I reached out to a lawyer. He was able to settle out of court for my initial asking price (plus legal fees) to ICBC. The only thing lost was time.
Note: ICBC rules that came into effect May 1, 2021, have eliminated the ability to claim accelerated depreciation. Claims which occurred prior to this date are still eligible as long as claimed within 2 years from the date of loss.
If your car (especially if it is a new one) is damaged in an accident, I highly suggest seeking compensation for accelerated depreciation. Your vehicle may be repaired good as new, however, when you go to sell it you will take a hit.
If you live in British Columbia and are not getting anywhere with ICBC, give Cary at Coast Auto Apprasials a call. Otherwise, you could be out thousands of dollars when you sell your vehicle!
JLApril 3, 2022 at 9:01 pm
Hi Shaun, sad to hear that after 1 May 2021, not-at-fault drivers cannot claim for accelerated depreciation anymore. Another case of ICBC punishing drivers even if they’re not at fault. Sigh.
Shaun RobertsonApril 8, 2022 at 9:30 am
Yes sounds like that is the case now. If your accident occurred before then you are still able to apply for AD though.