Terms you may need to know.

Aftermarket Part

Any new auto repair part not produced by the original vehicle manufacturer.

Appearance Allowance

An agreed compensation from the insurance company for auto repairs not performed, sometimes appropriate for superficial damage.


A reduction in claim compensation for a vehicle component which is worn; typically applied to items such as tires, batteries, and exhaust parts; much like pro-rating.


An individual is a claimant when he or she presents a claim against another party’s insurance carrier.


One or more coats of transparent (normally urethane-based) car paints that are an integral part of modern vehicle finishes. It is the clearcoat which gives current production vehicles their gloss.


The amount of a claim that is paid by the insured before insurance payment begins.

Hazardous Waste/Hazardous Material Charge

A charge assessed by many collision repair facilities to dispose of wastes associated with repairing your vehicle in an environmentally appropriate way. Some insurance companies refuse to pay this charge.


An individual is an insured in relation to one’s own insurance carrier.

Paint & Materials

A charge for car paint products, and other materials, such as sandpaper and polishing pads, expended to repair your vehicle.

Paint Matching, Tinting, Blending

These describe various methods of ensuring that there is no perceptible difference between the appearance of newly refinished panels and undamaged panels on your repaired vehicle.



Quality Recycled Part

A used part from a salvage yard.

Quality Replacement Part

A new part sold by someone other than the original vehicle manufacturer.

R & I

Remove and install. Sometimes parts need to be removed to gain access to repair or replace damaged ones, or to facilitate repair of the part itself. The part which is removed is reinstalled on your vehicle.

Salvage Value

The amount a salvage yard will pay for your damaged vehicle. This amount is used to determine whether your vehicle is ‘totalled’ or not. (See total loss, below.)


An auto body repair method in which only a portion of a damaged panel is replaced. It is sometimes a preferred method of auto body repair.


It is sometimes most expedient to have your insurance company initially pay to repair your vehicle and let them fight with the offending party’s insurance over issues of fault. When one insurance company pursues another for payment, it is termed subrogation.


An additional amount paid to settle a claim. More often than not, it’s impossible to identify all damage to your vehicle until it’s disassembled. A supplement is a detailing of the auto repair charges for additional damage found after repairs are begun.

Total Loss

It’s imprudent to repair a vehicle if the total cost of repair exceeds the value of the repaired vehicle. Factored into the decision to total a vehicle are the anticipated cost of auto repairs, rental charges, if applicable, and salvage value. If your vehicle is ‘totalled,’ the insurance company is, in effect, buying your vehicle from you. Negotiation over the purchase price is completely appropriate.