Common Questions

My vehicle was in an accident, what is the first step?

First, you will need to decide whether you are going through insurance or paying yourself. If you are paying yourself, come into our shop and we will look over your vehicle and provide you with an estimate outlining the costs. If you are going through insurance, the contact number you need to call should be on your insurance papers. Once they have processed your claim, an adjuster will contact you and inform you of your coverage. Let them know that you have come into Columbia Collision for an estimate and they will forward the appropriate information to us.

How much do I have to pay to get my car repaired?

Depending on your claim, when you pick up your vehicle, you may have to pay Columbia Collision:

  • a deductible—the amount you have to pay for repairs or costs before your insurance kicks in to pay for the rest
  • a portion of the cost of depreciation—when previously damaged or worn parts are repaired or replaced, or previously damaged or worn bodywork is painted
  • HST (applies to “HST registrants” only)

I was in an accident, do I have rental coverage?

Rental coverage is usually located on your insurance papers. If you have difficulties recognizing it, contact the number available and someone will inform you of your coverage.

I am not covered for a rental vehicle; do you supply a car while mine is getting fixed?

We do have a fleet of vehicles on standby for those who are in need of transportation while their car is in the shop. We make every effort to accommodate any customer who requires a vehicle.

Is Columbia Collision an ICBC Express Valet Shop?

Absolutely. We are an I.C.B.C. Express Valet Shop. We are fully accredited and in good standing with I.C.B.C.

I need an estimate, do you do that?

Yes. We offer estimates, free of charge. Appointments are not necessary, just drop in at your convenience and one of our estimators will be happy to assist you. If you are going through an insurance claim, you will need to bring is your claim # and insurance papers; this will help speed up the process for both parties. If you are privately paying, all we need to see is the vehicle. Due to the unique nature of vehicle damage, we cannot give estimates over the phone. Our estimators need to assess the vehicle first hand.

Which insurance companies do you work with?

We are more than happy to work with almost all insurance companies. We routinely work with out-of-province insurers as well as the local companies. In almost all instances we can work directly with the insurance company to gain the necessary approvals and directly bill them. We know that getting your car repaired after an accident can be difficult so we try to handle as many of the details for you as we can. We are always happy when customers tell us it much less painful than they were expecting.

My insurance company says that they won’t guarantee the repair unless I go to a “preferred” shop. Shouldn’t I go to the shop they want?

In British Columbia you have the right to take your car to where you want it repaired. It is always important to remember that. Some insurance companies can be quite insistent that they choose the repair shop rather than you. There are various reasons why they do this, but the bottom line is that you and the insurance company have a different set of interests when it comes to getting your car repaired. You want a good quality repair, handled in a timely manner, with a friendly face and a minimum amount of hassle. The insurance company’s interest is to keep the cost of the repair down. We are more than happy to work with all insurance companies to keep the costs down so long as it does not impair our ability to take care of our customer. So what about the guarantee? In our humble opinion this is nonsense. Insurance companies do not guarantee repairs – shops do. If you have a problem with a collision repair done through your insurance and you call your insurance company to complain, they will always refer you to the shop for resolution. That is why you want to go to a shop that you are comfortable dealing with. There have been many occasions where we have worked with customers to correct problems resulting from repairs done at the shop the insurance company “preferred”. Invariably in these cases the insurance company keeps sending the customer back to the original shop until the customer gets fed up and decides to seek out a shop (such as ours) that understands that the customer is the boss, not the insurance company.

I’ve had a small accident, the person that hit me doesn’t want to go through insurance, what should I do?

If the person who hit you is a friend — or for some other reason you want to do them a favor — we can make arrangements for them to pay for your repair before your car comes in. However, keep in mind that you are doing them a favor. And as with most favors there is a potential for things to go wrong. If there is any potential for hidden damages; go through insurance. Insurance companies have well-established procedures for dealing with hidden damages and changes to the estimate — consumers do not. You could get caught paying for any hidden damages. Also at the first hint of animosity — go through insurance. Allocating blame and responsibility is an everyday part of handling a collision claim. Insurance companies are well equipped to handle those un-pleasantries; consumers are not. One of the options that you might want to consider is to use the insurance companies ‘pay-off’ option. Insurance companies are more than happy to allow the other party to pay off the cost of the claim once it is completed. This allows the other party to protect their record. It allows you to make sure you get a complete quality repair while avoiding interpersonal issues. And it allows us and the insurance company to do what we do best.

How much does it cost to get a new paint job?

Sorry, we do not have a set price for repainting a car. The days of the $995.00 paint job are gone. That shops that used to do that have gone out of business. Today’s paints are designed to last for the life of the vehicle. Therefore we normally repaint only the panels of the car that have been physically damaged and need to be repaired. The good news is that today’s paint systems are much better at matching existing paint so that we only need to paint panels that have been damaged. The bad news is that modern paint systems are also much more expensive. If your paint has failed simply from old age, in most cases a repaint cannot be justified from a cost perspective.

The accident wasn’t my fault and I still have to pay the deductible, why?

On many occasions customers will have the repairs done to their vehicle soon after the accident. Quite often the other party involved in the accident may not have contacted the insurance company yet. On some occasions they are very reluctant to do so. If this happens you may need to pay your deductible, and be reimbursed later after liability has been resolved. Once the other party has reported or if they never do report the insurance company will determine fault from the information available to them. At this time they will refund your deductible directly to you.

Do you guarantee your work?

Absolutely! We guarantee our work for as long as you own the vehicle. Columbia Collision guarantees that all body and paint repairs to the vehicle have been completed to generally acceptable industry standards. We ensure that the finished product is free from defects in workmanship and materials, unless caused by or resulting from unreasonable use, maintenance, or care of the vehicle, or from rust arising from normal aging. The guarantee is valid from the date of issue, for as long as the vehicle remains in the continuous possession of the registered owner at the time of the original repairs.

Why Hire Us?

  • Lifetime warrantee on all of our work
  • Fully certified & licensed staff
  • Family owned & operated