I'm also a big fan of Briggs & Riley luggage. My oldest pieces are a little over 20 years old. While they do have a really good guarantee, if the luggage is damaged or old enough, they may offer credit towards a new bag instead of the repair. You will need to pay for a box and shipping if there isn't a repair center in your city.
Another tip: don't choose a black bag or at least put a distinctive something (like Kate's patch) on the bag. I'm not a fan of olive khaki as a color, but there are usually few, if any olive khaki bags, so I can spot my bag pretty easily.