I am looking for advice from anyone who has been in this situation, or perhaps knows of someone who has, or even a legal opinion. Of course everyone is more than welcome to put their 2 cents in, but my goal is to come away with some information I can use.
OK, so my bike was stolen on Mother's Day this year, which puts the date around the middle of May. It was recovered shortly thereafter. I filed a claim after it was stolen, and my brother (who was borrowing it when it was stolen) and I went to ICBC to make our statements to our adjuster.
A few weeks pass and I had not heard a peep from the adjuster, so I left a message with my adjuster to give me a shout back as I was looking for an update on what was going on with the bike. A week or so later (middle of June) I get a call from an ICBC investigator who is taking over the claim. She tells me the bike is a total loss and I will receive the paperwork, that I will have to have notorized, in the mail after she has met (interrogated) my brother.
So my brother goes in, comes out, and I start looking for a new bike while waiting for paperwork. A couple weeks pass and around the same time I buy my replacement bike, the total loss form arrives, which is promptly completed, notorized, and mailed to ICBC. This is around the first week of August.
Around the middle of August, I call the investigator to get another update and leave a voicemail. She returns my call a week later (she was on holidays) and again tells me the bike is a total loss, and that someone will contact me shortly. A week later I get a call from a guy from ICBC, and he asks to meet me at the office so we can go over the bike. I arrive at ICBC, and the guy I am meeting is not an adjuster but an estimator who tells me they are fixing the bike!
I was pretty flustered at this point but did what I could to keep my composure since this guy said I should not have been told the bike was a total loss until he had looked at it.
At this point I wrote an email to the investigator asking what was going on, and outlining the entire timeline to not only recap the past events, but to create a record of things since our correspondance has been over the phone thus far. She responded to my email, confirming all of the above, and also saying the bike was going to be fixed but they were now debating whether the damage being claimed was reasonable or not.
That is the story and here is my problem. I was told the bike was being paid out and as a result of this, I bought a replacement bike and I cannot afford 2 bikes. If they repair the bike, I have to try and sell a bike that is a theft recovery (which lowers the value) and due to their delays I am now forced to sell in a buyers market. In addition, I have lost over 4 months of insurance because with a total loss I recover insurance to the date of theft, but now that it is being fixed, I eat 1/3rd of my annual insurance premiums. All of these factors means I lose a significant amount of money.
Do I seek legal counsil for this or does ICBC have the right to act in this manner? To say I have spent a lot of time worrying and stressing about this is an understatement as I have been strung out by ICBC for almost 4 months now.
Thanks for listening.