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The True Cost of an ICBC Claim

Not every motoring mishap merits an ICBC claim.

Island Color is Southern Vancouver Island’s leading authority on small collision repair and minor auto body work. In fact, our work is so good that you’ve probably never noticed it! You can check out our Portfolio to see examples of some of the work we’ve done for our friends in Victoria.

Below, we do a little case study comparing the relative costs of getting minor body work done by a local shop, like Island Color, and doing an ICBC insurance claim and going to one of their shops. As with anything automotive, it’s always worth considering where your money is going, and if it could be better spent elsewhere.

The Claim

This example is for a damaged rocker panel. This is the area under the driver’s side or passenger door. It is often damaged by riding up on a curb or hitting an obstacle while turning. You can see to the right a before and after on this type of repair from our shop. This rocker panel took us about 4 hours and cost in the neighbourhood of $125.

When you go to a body shop to have a quote on this type of repair, the budget suddenly gets much larger.. What we outline below is how insurance companies charge you your deducible for comprehensive repairs, then charge you the tax if you car is registered as a business vehicle. You may have to pay depreciation on parts if they need replacing as well, but in this case we are just talking about minor exterior damage.

Body shops are great for structural damage and big accidents, but for cosmetic repairs it might be cheaper to go a different route.

Rocker Panel

What an ICBC body shop charges

One of our clients took an identical rocker panel accident to an ICBC designated body shop to receive a quote. The quote that was returned was extremely high in comparison, but that is to be expected and is no fault of the body shop. A body shop does more than a spot repair and it included blending the entire side of the car’s paint. Why would they do so much? The body shop is free to quote for more work when it is a deductible claim (within the scope of the job), and customers are happy to see that for the cost of their deductible they are getting a huge repair bill covered.

What they don’t tell you

When you use your ICBC deductible to pay for a repair you are responsible for paying the deductible fee, the tax (if your car is registered as a business vehicle) and a portion of the depreciation of any parts that might need to be replaced. When you add up the deductible plus depreciation on parts you can be out much more than your deductible alone. Let’s have a look at how this repair broke down between the body shop and Island Color.

The Breakdown

Island Color Repair:

Rocker panel repair, paint,
and clear coat:
$125 + Tax = $140

The services charges and tax are quoted up front
and you know exactly what your bill will be before we start working.

On the ICBC side you can see that the customer is charged
more in the end than if they chose not to do a claim, even though it
represents a bigger savings on paper.

Body shop quote:

Materials & Labour: $669.04
PST & GST on Materials and Labour: $80.29
Quote Total: 749.33

Charged to Client:
Deductible: $300

This represents a 46% increase over the Island Color quote.
Could be even more if the repair required depreciated parts repair.

What have we learned?

Here we have shown that the true cost of an ICBC claim can be more than the cost of your deductible. You are charged your deductible plus the depreciation on the repaired parts and tax if you car is registered as a business vehicle. In the example above this represents a 46% increase in consumer costs compared to an Island Color repair.

We all need insurance, but when we use comprehensive claims for minor cosmetic repairs can end up being expensive. Body shops are great for major repairs, structural damage, and large scale jobs, but a body shop does not have to be your first stop for small damage.

For paint chips, rocker panel damage, bumper repair, and rim repair, go to your neighbourhood touch-up shop and save a bundle in the process. For more info, you can check out our services page or just get in touch.

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