Burnaby resident David Pereira is frustrated by what he says is a lack of accountability on the part of the Insurance Corporation of B.C. after he hit a pothole that caused $1,200 worth of damage to his truck.
On Nov. 30, Pereira was driving west-bound onto Highway 1 on the Kensington exit when he felt the front end of his truck drop down into a pothole he says was at least two feet deep and "about as big as a coffee table."
Pereira said he then noticed several other vehicles at the side of the road with flat tires or broken wheels.
When he checked his truck, he found there was damage to the driver's side front wheel and the fender.
He contacted ICBC and discovered other drivers had made similar claims due to the same pothole causing vehicle damage before the police closed the exit that night.
"No one's taking responsibility on it," he said. ". So there's me and 22 to 24 other people that are left holding the bag."
Pereira said he is upset ICBC is calling the accident a collision and that he cannot get comprehensive coverage for the repairs of his vehicle.
"I'm not willing to give up my free discount, or whatever, for something that I don't think I'm responsible for," he said.
Unlike a rock hitting a windshield, for example, which would fall under comprehensive coverage, any damage caused by a pothole is considered a collision.
Adam Grossman, senior media relations advisor for the insurance company, said collision claims include accidents involving another vehicle, a person, object or the surface of the road.
"And that's not an ICBC definition of a collision claim - you could call any auto insurance provider in the world and it would be treated in the same way," Grossman said.
After talking with ICBC, Pereira was informed neither Peter Kiewit/Flatiron Construction Corporation, the company that has been working on the freeway expansion, nor the City of Burnaby have accepted responsibility for damages.
According to the city's director of engineering, Lou Pelletier, Highway 1 and its exits are not city roads, but rather fall under the jurisdiction of the provincial government.
Greg Johnson, manager of communications for the Port Mann/Highway 1 Project Transportation Investment Corporation, said ICBC is the first place drivers should go with claims for vehicle damage, but that the construction company does have a claims department for handling cases, as well.
"We have someone on the project that deals with that exclusively," he said.
Johnson said he could not comment on whether there have been any claims made through his company since the highway expansion project began.
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