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ICBC Negotiation Tactics

The Top Nine Negotiation Tactics 

used by ICBC Adjusters


Tactics used by ICBC#1 – Blaming the Victim

Have your injuries been healing at the right speed? Your adjuster might have determined that your recovery is too slow. This implies that you have not invested enough effort into your recovery, or that you may be faking your symptoms.

The truth is that all injuries recover at different rates and you are not required to heal at any particular speed. For more information check out these articles:

There’s No Time Limit on Recovery

Whiplash Doesn’t Magically Resolve on Stroke of Clock


#2 – Misleading information

You may have been told that you do not have a claim because it was a hit and run, you were not hit with enough speed, or because you were not wearing a seatbelt. ICBC uses their company policies to deter car crash victims from believing they have a claim. However, the truth is that you still have rights in all of these scenarios. For more information refer to:

Hit and Run Crashes are Covered by ICBC if You Do it Right

The Bunk of ICBC’s Low Velocity Impact Policy

As if You Need Another Reason to Wear Your Seatbelt


#3 – Incorrect Allocation of Fault

Are you in agreement with ICBC’s allocation of fault? ICBC does not have the final say on who was at fault in a car crash. In some cases, in order for a fair judgment, fault needs to be determined in court by a judge. Read about some examples here:

David and Goliath Court Case Delivers Victory for Teenager

Sometimes Innocent Drivers are pulled into Injury Lawsuits

#4 – Financial Manipulation

Car crashes can have devastating financial consequences on people suffering through injuries. You may be experiencing a loss of income while you are expected to pay for your recovery expenses. Weekly chiropractor, massage therapy and physiotherapy sessions add up quickly.

As your expenses increase and your income decreases, ICBC gains bargaining power over you. They might currently be paying for your expenses – are you able to pay for treatment if that coverage ends? Most people cannot, which is why ICBC uses this leverage to encourage early settlements and deter hiring a lawyer. Here’s how ICBC utilizes your financial hardship:

Manipulating Claimants with a Little Financial Squeeze

Dealing with Loss of Ability to Earn an Income

#5 – ICBC Financed Medical Specialists 

Have you suspected that a medical specialist is not exactly on your team? ICBC generously finances medical specialists to provide their expert opinions on car crash claims. The incongruence of incentives has not gone unnoticed in British Columbia courts:

Judges Have Harsh Words for Some Crash Case Doctors

#6 – Bullying Tactics

Is your adjuster starting to get frustrated with your resistance to settle? As car crash claims drag on, an adjuster’s tone might shift from one of helpfulness to impatience. This is when it is becomes especially important for you to have independent information informing you of your rights:

Insurance Companies Not Allowed to Bully You into Interviews

ICBC Should Require Injured Victims to Find out Their Rights

#7 – Surveillance Tactics

If you have an ICBC claim, you might be under video surveillance. Ironically, in our experience, the footage obtained from ICBC investigators has supported our cases in proving the limitations of our clients’ injuries.

Smile, You Could be on Camera if Making a Claim

Insurance Claims, Private Investigators and Videotape

#8 – Lowball Offers

How are your negotiating skills? Even the best negotiators are at a disadvantage if they do not know the value of what they are negotiating for. ICBC uses this asymmetric information to their advantage by making lowball offers. Here’s why you shouldn’t even accept ICBC’s fourth offer…

Negotiating Advice – Don’t accept ICBC’s fourth offer

Get a Second Opinion Before Accepting a Payout

#9 – Discouraging Empowerment

ICBC often leads you to believe that hiring a lawyer with threaten your adjuster relationship. Do you know that you can retain legal advice without actually telling your adjuster? Here are some articles encouraging you to level the playing field at the bargaining table:

Getting a Personal Injury Lawyer can Ensure Fair Treatment

Crash Victims Deserve to Know What Their Claim is Worth

Are you worried that seeking legal advice makes it seem like you are out for more than your fair share? Here’s why car crash settlements are never truly compensate the losses caused by an injury:

Receiving a Car Crash Settlement is not a Lottery Win


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