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Frequently Asked Questions

In North Carolina, if the damage exceeds 75% of the retail value of the vehicle, the state deems the car a total loss. If your vehicle is a total loss, there are two options:

1. You decide not to fix the car. The Insurance company will move the car to an auction yard and sell it for salvage.
2. We decide the car is repairable and you would like to have it fixed. The insurance company pays you the retail value of the vehicle, less the salvage value and deductible (if applicable). The remaining amount may be used to fix the car at the shop of your choosing. We will be very clear on all costs involved. We’re here to help you make the right choice…call us with your situation and we’ll be glad to help.

Please note that while Body Works Plus is happy to provide a Free Consultation, a $125 fee may apply for an “Estimate.” For most insurance claims, this estimate fee will NOT apply.

If you have your vehicle repaired at Body Works Plus, that estimate fee will be applied to the cost of repairing the vehicle.

Many body shops offer a “Free Estimate.” Unfortunately, this kind of verbiage is often misleading.
To do a complete “estimate” for collision repairs requires detailed blueprinting of the damage, which can require a considerable amount of work, including some disassembly of the vehicle. For this reason, in the interests of our core values of honesty and transparency, we cannot offer “Free Estimates.”

Probably not… many vehicles today are built with a unibody instead of a traditional frame. The unibody maybe be damaged, which can be replaced. At our shop we check the unibody with our computerized measuring system and to evaluate the damage and determine the type of repair required. Until the 1970s all trucks and most cars had full frames, which consists of upper body sheet metal attached to a lower heavy steel frame. Over the years manufacturing technologies evolved for safety and efficiency. The development of new high strength steels, in combination with unibody structural designs (body integrated with frame structure) replaced the older full frame designs. The question of a bent frame usually only applies to trucks and SUVs these days.

Yes, if our body shop paints your vehicle the color will match. Color matching is a science we take seriously. Our shop uses a computerized color-matching system to ensure an exact match to your factory paint.


Every vehicle manufactured comes with a color code, usually found in the door jamb, which tells us the color the manufacturer used. Unfortunately, vehicles of the same model built in different plants or on different days will vary in color, which is why matching the color of your vehicle is a process that takes time.

The keys to an excellent match are a great paint, like PPG, experience, a good color eye, and a paint spray-out library. PPG spent millions of dollar creating a system for matching car paint of all makes and models. Most people cannot differentiate very similar colors easily, so a painter with good color vision and years of experience is key. The spray out library includes books of cards organized by the manufacturer at our shop. We create a card for every vehicle we paint to ensure it matches.

We follow the full paint matching process for every vehicle we paint and guarantee that your vehicle’s paint will match the rest of the vehicle.

If you need a rental car, we can make the necessary arrangements. Insurance companies will only pay for a rental are if you have that option in your policy. Check your policy and/or call your insurance agency.

Insurance companies determine fault by your account of the accident and the accident report filed with the police department. If you carry broad collision, and you were not at fault, your insurance company will most likely waive your deductible. You can call your agent and he/she can tell you whether your insurance company has waived your deductible.

Your claim number is issued by your insurance company when the accident is reported. Bring that number with you when you come in, we will do the rest.

Get a copy of the police report of the accident from the law enforcement agency present at the scene of the collision.

Repairs average 8 days, but can be longer or shorter depending on the severity of your repair.

You can call or check the status of your car online.

Our shop accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, personal checks, properly-endorsed insurance checks, and cash.

You can wash your car in the shade with cool, clean water, a mild car wash solution, and a soft cloth. Do not use commercial car washes, stiff brushes or sponges, as they cold damage the surface. Dry wiping can scratch the finish. Do not scrape snow or ice from the newly painted surface.

No. A car is a total loss only when the cost of the repair exceeds a significant percentage of the insurance company’s determined value of the vehicle. Most new cars are built using a unibody (frame and body as one) construction. Our highly skilled technicians, with the aid of our state of the art computer system return your vehicle to factory specifications.

Yes, all repairs at our body shop include a nationwide, 100% Lifetime Warranty*.
*Click here for more info about warranty and terms of use.

Industry Terms

Natural occurrence beyond human control or influence. Includes acts of nature such as hail, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. This is usually covered under comprehensive insurance and is not covered by liability and collision insurance.

Most auto insurance coverage only reimburses you for the actual cash value of your car. This is the value of the vehicle at the time it was damaged, stolen or destroyed. After a loss, your company will review the condition of your car’s body, interior, tires and additional equipment. Based on the pre-accident condition of the car, a claims adjuster locates similar models for sale by private parties and dealer quotations in your area, and uses those prices to determine the Actual Cash Value.

A person or entity (such as a leasing company), other than the named insured, who is protected under the auto policy. If an auto is leased, the leasing company may want to be listed as an Additional Insured as well as a lien holder or loss payee. This protects the leasing company if it’s named in a lawsuit for an accident caused by a policyholder.

A person employed by an insurance company that investigates and settles claims. An adjuster evaluates each claim brought by policyholders or claimants and then recommends payment based on the coverage available under the insurance policy.

New replacement parts that were not produced or supplied by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Aftermarket collision parts may offer a price-based alternative, but may not provide the same fit, finish and structural strength, and may not perform to the OEM’s exacting specifications. Only Original Equipment parts, supplied by the vehicle manufacturer, are backed by the vehicle manufacturer’s warranty. Aftermarket parts are often referred to on your estimate with these names or abbreviations:
A/M Aftermarket / Automotive replacement parts
QRP Quality Replacement Parts
CP Competitive Parts
LKQ Like Kind and Quality

A policy available for collectible, custom or antique vehicles that do not depreciate in value as the average car does. When your policy is written, you and your insurance company come to an “agreed value” of what will be paid out in the event of a total loss instead of actual cash value.

A term commonly used to refer to something other than Original Equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts.

A change to the basic policy contract.

The process of drying paint by exposing it to air at normal temperatures. Water-borne paint uses air drying as opposed to standard solvent based paints, which may use heat to facilitate drying. Water-borne paints are relatively new to the U.S. market but have been used for years in other parts of the world.

 A device designed to either reduce the chance a vehicle will be stolen, or assist in its recovery. Examples include car alarms, starter disablers, motion detectors, steering wheel locks and recovery systems.

An electronic device that you activate in the event your vehicle is stolen, which then emits a signal that can be used to locate your car.

A written estimation of the value of property or the extent of damage. Damage appraisals may be completed by an insurance adjuster, vehicle repair specialist or body shop estimator.

A process of settling a dispute through an impartial party rather than in the courts. Both parties typically agree to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator.

A state-managed auto insurance plan for individuals who cannot obtain conventional liability coverage because of poor driving records.

The party that is legally liable for the damages in an accident

A paint system in which the color effect is provided by a highly pigmented base coat. Gloss and durability are provided by a subsequent clear coat. Most vehicles are finished in this manner.


 A heavy metal platform used to restore a vehicle’s structural geometry to factory specifications. This is done by securing a portion of the vehicle to the platform, then pulling appropriate areas of the vehicle into place using special clamps, chains and hydraulic winches. This is also referred to as a Frame Machine, Frame Rack or simply Rack.


A temporary agreement that provides proof of coverage until you receive a permanent policy.

A automotive refinishing process which ensures an invisible color match to the existing paint.

Production of a highly detailed statement of work needed to properly and completely repair a collision-damaged vehicle, including all labor, operations, parts, paint and other materials. A blueprint is generally written during and after a car is completely torn-down to determine the full extent of damage, including any damage that may have been hidden when the original estimate was written.

A publication for determining the value of used automobiles and trucks. The full name of the publication is Kelley Blue Book.

An injury sustained by a person.

Insurance coverage that pays for medical expenses of the other driver and his passengers to the limit of your policy. This coverage may also pay for pain and suffering, lost wages, rehabilitation, legal expenses and funeral expenses.

A paste-like material used for filling small imperfections on a vehicle surface.

A paste-like material ordinarily mixed with a catalyst material used to fill large imperfections on a vehicle surface.

Labor time required for structural repairs to your vehicle.

On all late-model vehicles, the energy-absorbing, foam-like material that is situated between the outside bumper fascia and the inner bumper reinforcement on both the front and rear of a vehicle. Also see Bumper Fascia and Bumper Reinforcement.

On all late-model cars, the fascia is that part of a bumper that is visible on the outside of the vehicle, is painted—usually the same color as the body—and serves as a large portion of either the front or back of the vehicle. Also see Bumper Absorber and Bumper Reinforcement.

On all late-model cars, the bumper reinforcement is that part of the bumper that secures the outer bumper fascia and energy absorber to the vehicle’s body rails, securing the bumper sub-assembly to the vehicle, front and rear.

This means that you mainly use your car for business purposes (such as delivery, service and sales calls) or work-related. Commuting to and from work is not considered business use.

The insurance company that issues the insurance policy. The term refers to the fact that the company carries (or assumes) certain risks for the policyholder.

Carwise is a service connected to CCC ONE that helps you track your vehicle through the phases of repair.

Liability or loss resulting from an accident.

Depending on the state requirement, this is a form certifying that coverage has been purchased to meet the state’s Financial Responsibility laws. Such forms include: SR-22, FR-44, SR-50, or any other state form.

Total repair management platform used by Bodyworks Plus that includes estimating and shop management capabilities. (See also, Carwise)

 A chip-resistant, protective coating normally applied to lower panels to help prevent sharp stones, debris, etc. from chipping the paint finish.

The removal of paint from a vehicle body surface by means of impact of sharp stones, etc. This usually happens on the leading edge of a vehicle body, like on the front edge of a hood, or near the rear edge of a wheel opening.

Any request or demand for payment under the terms of the insurance policy to cover an incurred loss.

A person who makes an insurance claim.

A section of an insurance policy that explains, clarifies or defines the conditions of coverage.

 A coat of clear material (basically paint without the color pigment) applied on top of a color coat as a means of protecting the finish, and adding luster and durability. Usually the color coat and clear coat are applied as a system in a repair to ensure color and luster continuity across the entire vehicle surface.

Asset (such as a vehicle) pledged to a lender until a loan is repaid. If the borrower defaults, the lender has the legal right to seize the collateral and sell it to pay off the loan. Comprehensive and Collision coverages are required by lenders when a car is the collateral for a loan.

Optional coverage for when your car is damaged by a collision with another vehicle or object. Examples of this include a collision with a tree, trashcan or garage door. Collision Insurance may also provide coverage if a car rolls over or if you hit a pothole that severely damages your car. This insurance applies only to your car and doesn’t cover whatever the car collided with, which is covered by property damage liability insurance. It pays for damage to your car (up to the actual cash value of your vehicle, minus your deductible) without regard to who caused an accident.

Means that you mainly use the car to drive to and from work or school.

A principle of law that, in some states, may enable claimants to recover a portion of their damages even when they are partially at fault, or negligent. Each party’s negligence is compared to the others’ and a claimant’s recovery can be reduced by the percentage of his or her own negligence.

The act of acquiring more than one bid for collision repair work. No law requires a consumer to seek more than one bid for collision repair. However, your insurance company may request a competitive bid, especially if you secure a bid from a shop that does not subscribe to that insurance company’s Direct Repair Program. Additionally, if you are paying for the work yourself, and are unfamiliar with shops in your area, you may want to seek competitive bids, as collision estimates can vary considerably. When securing competitive bids, be sure to review what each estimate includes (or does not include) regarding labor operations and type of parts used.

The action of using an abrasive polishing material either by hand or by machine.

Optional coverage for when your car is stolen or damaged in ways that don’t involve a collision. Examples include: fire, theft, hail, glass breakage, vandalism, damage from an animal, flood, earthquakes, riot and civil commotion.

The portion of the insurance contract that outlines the duties and responsibilities of both the insured and the insurance company.

A principle of law that, in some states, may prevent claimants from recovering any portion of their damages if they are even partially at fault or negligent.

Degradation of the bare, unprotected metal substrate by oxidation, commonly referred to as rusting. This process is worsened by the introduction of water and salt, which is commonly found on roads in snow-belt areas of the U.S. All automotive metal surfaces should be protected from corrosion by some sort of coating.

Protection and benefits provided in an insurance policy.

Loss or harm to a person or property.

The section of a policy that includes your name and address, the property that is being insured, its location and description, the policy period, the types and amount of insurance coverage and the premiums.

The amount of costs you pay after an accident. Once you’ve paid the deductible, the insurance company pays the rest of the costs, up to the amount specified in your policy. A high deductible generally results in a lower premium, while a low deductible results in a higher premium for the same insurance coverage.

The removal from the substrate (vehicle’s sheet metal parts) of contaminants that would otherwise create various paint failures.

The decrease in value of any property due to wear, tear and/or time. Depreciation is generally not an insurable loss.

Final cleaning both inside and outside of vehicle, removal of overspray from under hood, trunk lids etc., as well as polishing prior to delivery of a collision-repaired vehicle.

The concept that a vehicle is worth less after being collision-repaired.

In certain states with no-fault auto insurance, the dollar threshold prevents individuals from suing to recover for pain and suffering unless their medical expenses exceed a specified dollar amount, called the threshold.

A common practice in the collision repair industry whereby an insurance company and a collision repair shop have a contractual agreement that establishes business rules, repair parameters, and standardized procedures such as billing practices and record keeping. An advantage of DRPs is that they may provide additional convenience for the insured due to their relationship with the insurance company. A primary disadvantage is that many insurance companies require that their DRPs use a percentage of imitation parts in collision repairs. This may not be in the customer’s best interest. You have the right to have your vehicle repaired at a shop of your own choosing.
Bodyworks Plus LLC. does not participate in any programs, so this time period can be the most frustrating, we negotiate diligently on your and the car manufactures behalf, ensuring the vehicle is restored to pre-loss condition. We follow the required OEM procedures and industry’s best practices, utilizing the latest tools, equipment, and manufacturer training. Some insurance companies focus solely on cost saving, which in most cases reduces the available dollars they are willing to pay for correct repairs, specifically regarding labor rates, parts, materials, and necessary procedures. Unfortunately this is the most difficult phase to predict timing, it can vary from a few hours to over a week. Once submitted, often times we will copy our clients on correspondence keeping all informed, we may need your help to facilitate any delays. Typically, this is not necessary and we will only ask if we are faced with extensive delays.

An insurer-suggested or -preferred collision repair shop that participates in a direct repair program (DRP) with that insurance company.

The process of change of an automotive coating from a liquid to a solid state by evaporation of solvent, evaporation of water (as in water-borne paint systems), chemical reaction of the binding medium, or a combination of these processes.

A term denoting a complete panel repair (such as a complete fender or door) as opposed to a touch-up or spot repair.

 A paint used as a topcoat (over a primer) that forms a hard glossy surface.

A change to the original insurance contract.

The written estimation, made by an appraiser or estimator, upon inspection of a damaged vehicle, regarding the cost required to restore the vehicle to the condition it was in immediately prior to the loss. There are sometimes hidden damages that are not visible until the vehicle is disassembled. Additional repairs needed to complete the repair are documented in what is called a supplement. Insurance companies expect this to occur and have in place billing guidelines to handle this type of situation.

Restrictions in your insurance policy that limit or exclude coverage for certain people, property, activities, situations, etc. For example, most auto insurance policies exclude coverage for normal wear and tear, drag racing and intentional acts.

The date your coverage ends. There is usually a time of day associated with this date, for example, an expiration date of 5/1/2002 at 12:01am. This means your coverage ends one minute after midnight on the date listed.

The price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, where both parties have reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts and neither party is under any compulsion to buy or sell.

A law requiring the owner of a vehicle to show proof of financial ability to pay for negligence in causing losses to others from the operation of a motor vehicle.

A chemical added to automotive refinish paint that makes the paint flexible enough to adhere to flexible vehicle parts such as bumper covers.

Labor time required for frame repairs to your vehicle.

This contrasts with four-wheel alignment.

If you are making lease or loan payments and you experience a total loss, there may be a difference (gap) between the market value of your vehicle and what you still owe on it. Gap insurance pays the difference between the actual cash value of a vehicle and the amount still to be paid on the loan. A gap policy may also cover the amount of the deductible.

The location where your insured car is parked most of the time. This location is usually indicated by the ZIP code of the policyholder’s primary residence.

The degree to which a painted surface possesses the property of reflecting light in a mirror-like manner. May also be referred to as luster.

Some auto insurance policies have a grace period that allows customers to make a payment after the due date. However, many companies will not accept a payment after the date shown on a cancellation notice.

A harsh, abrasive machining process used to quickly remove old paint and rust from a vehicle surface. While grinding quickly and efficiently removes unwanted surface rust or paint, it leaves a rough surface, which can be further sanded or filled with primer sealer or body putty.

Any unusable by-product derived from the repair and/or painting process that cannot be disposed of through normal waste disposal. These products can be potentially harmful to the environment and require special handling as well as professional disposal. Federal, state and local laws dictate how such material must be handled and disposed of.

An accident caused by someone who does not stop to assist or provide information. Damages to your vehicle caused by a hit and run driver are often covered as part of uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance..

A principle that says when a loss occurs, the insured and his vehicle should be restored to the condition they were in before the loss occurred—no better, no worse. In practice this is limited by the value of coverage and the terms specified in the insurance policy. Forms of indemnity include cash payments, repairs, replacement and reinstatement. This is the principle upon which insurance contracts are based.

 Insurance is a system in which groups of people (such as automobile owners) who have similar chances of suffering a loss transfer their risk of loss to an insurer who pools the risk of many drivers together. The insurance company promises to reimburse the person for their covered losses in exchange for payment of the premium.

A person or organization who has or is covered by an insurance policy.

Legal responsibility or obligation for the injury or damage suffered by another person.

In most states, you are legally required to have a minimum of liability insurance, which is intended to restore the other driver, passengers and vehicle to their pre-accident condition.

A person or organization, such as a bank or leasing company, with a financial interest in property up to the amount of money borrowed or still owed on the property.

 The amount specified in your policy up to which the insurance company will protect you. Limits may apply to an individual accident and/or a specific period of time. Most states have laws that specify the minimum limit that must be purchased for each type of required insurance coverage.

The amount an insurance company pays on a claim.

A person or entity that is protected under the named insured’s auto policy. This is usually a lessor or a bank that loaned money to buy a car.

Compensation to a third-party claimant for financial consequences resulting from the inability to use property as the result of accident-related damage.

Temporary covering of areas on the vehicle that are not to be painted.

Labor time required for mechanical repairs to your vehicle.

A term used for automotive finishes incorporating fine metallic particles in the paint to produce a somewhat sparkled effect.

 In some states insurance companies are legally required to pay a policyholder’s covered losses, regardless of who was responsible for an accident. This coverage is subject to the terms, limits and conditions of the policy contract and may pay for medical treatment, lost wages, or other accident-related expenses regardless of who caused the accident.

 Referred to as Original Equipment Manufacturer collision replacement parts, Original Equipment collision parts, or simply OE parts, these parts are designed by your vehicle manufacturer and are produced to the same specifications and tolerances as the parts on the vehicle when it was manufactured. These parts meet stringent requirements for fit, finish, structural integrity, corrosion protection and dent resistance. They are the only parts proven during vehicle development to deliver the intended level of protection as a whole system.

This type of paint failure is typified by cracks in the painted surface, not unlike the cracks seen at the bottom of a dried mud puddle.

This type of paint failure is typified by severe fade, and can occur in any color but is more pronounced in reds, where the color may fade from red to pink or red to orange.

This type of paint failure occurs when a haze or fog-like substance surrounds a repaired area.

This type of paint failure is typified by paint peeling off the surface of the vehicle, indicating a sever loss of adhesion. This could be caused by any number of problems, not the least of which is improper preparation of the surface to be painted, or a mismatch of paint and primer.

This type of paint failure is typified by a white material coming through the painted surface.

This type of paint failure is indicated by a spot in the paint in the repaired area that resembles a fish eye. This is caused by contaminants on the vehicle’s surface.

 Labor time required for paint repairs to your vehicle.

A means of pulling a minor dent from a body panel that will not damage the paint and thus remove the need for post-repair refinishing.


 In an insurance contract, the policyholder (and other people specifically named in the policy, such as family members) is the first party. The insurance company is the second party in the contract. Anyone else is a third party. If you are involved in an accident you are the first party and the other driver would be a third party.

A coverage in which your own insurance company pays you for medical costs, lost wages, loss of essential services normally provided by the injured person (e.g. childcare, housekeeping) and funeral costs. Specific protections afforded by this type of auto insurance coverage and limits on PIP payments vary widely from state to state.

The coloring material in paint.

The condition of the vehicle immediately before it was damaged. As this relates to automobile repair, it is restoring the vehicle to the condition it was in moments before the accident. This includes the restoration of:
a) the function of the vehicle and all its systems;
b) safety, including the ability of the vehicle to withstand a subsequent impact and absorb that impact, and protect the occupants as designed by the manufacturer in the same manner as an undamaged vehicle;
c) appearance of the vehicle

The amount paid by an insured to an insurance company to obtain or maintain an insurance policy.

This is the chemical treatment of an unpainted metal surface prior to painting, to promote adhesion and corrosion resistance.

What your vehicle is mainly used for—pleasure, to and from work, business, commercial, or farm.

The first layer of a paint normally applied to an unpainted surface. It is designed to protect the substrate (bare metal) and promote adhesion of the top coat.

 An undercoat that improves the adhesion of the topcoat, and which seals old painted surfaces to prevent bleed-through.

A pigmented material, sprayed onto a vehicle, which acts as a primer and also has “filling” properties which will fill small imperfections in the surface. After sanding of the primer/surface, a top coat of paint will be applied.

The person who drives the vehicle most often.

Pays for damage to the other driver’s vehicle to the limit of your policy. This is distinct from and in addition to per-person bodily injury liability and bodily injury liability for all persons injured in any on accident.

Remove and Install (R&I) – Refers to a part removed from a damaged vehicle to be saved and reinstalled after the repair has been completed. In many cases, to repair damage to the outside of a vehicle, interior trim, seating, etc. must be removed to make a proper repair.

Refers to a part removed from a damaged vehicle that cannot be acceptably repaired, and must be replaced.

A used OE or aftermarket part in which only those components that may be broken or unusable are replaced.

See Salvage Parts.

Automotive Refinishing applies to all of the operations required to repair an OEM or previously painted substrate. This includes operations such as sanding, buffing, and painting.

 In the collision repair world, refurbished collision parts generally means parts removed from an existing vehicle that are repaired and/or refinished, such as bumper covers, wheels, or lamps.

Remanufactured generally means parts removed from an existing vehicle that are repaired and/or refinished. Generally speaking, parts remanufactured by the OE manufacturers (vehicle maker) begin with a used part that is completely disassembled, inspected, diagnosed and cleaned, while any worn or inoperative parts are replaced. The part is reassembled and tested to ensure the part meets the same specifications as the original part. Remanufactured mechanical parts are produced by OEs and non-OE remanufacturers.

The point at which a consumer authorizes the repair to their vehicle (and in some cases contingent upon the insurance company settlement process).

The cost to repair or replace an insured item at the present time, according to its current worth.

Refers to when a part or component requires replacement with a new part rather than repair of the damaged part.

The cost to repair or replace an insured item at the present time, according to its current worth.

Refers to the document that will be used by the body shop to keep track of the time spent, expendable materials consumed (such as paints, etc.) and parts used to repair a collision-damaged vehicle. Also called a Work Order.

An abrasive paste that smoothes and polishes paint films. This is also commonly known as polishing compound.

An abrasive process used to level a coated surface prior to the application of a subsequent further coat.

Refers to parts salvaged from a vehicle, often from one that was deemed a total loss. Quality concerns may exist with salvaged parts because the source, condition and durability of the parts are not known. In some cases, the part could be a salvaged aftermarket part. This category commonly includes large body assemblies, such as complete bumper assemblies, doors or complete front ends, severed from the original vehicle from the windshield forward.
Salvage parts are often referred to on your estimate with these names or abbreviations:
LKQ Like Kind and Quality
Note: The industry term “LKQ” is not to be confused with a company by the same name that offers recycled and aftermarket parts.

An undercoat that improves the adhesion of the topcoat, and seals old painted surfaces to prevent bleed-through.

Collision repair shops that participate in one or more insurance company direct repair programs (DRP). Vehicle owners have the right to choose a body shop whether it is part of a DRP program or not.

 A coating that contains only colored pigments, as opposed to a coating that contains small metallic flakes to create metallic paints.

A liquid, usually volatile, that is used to reduce paint or primer viscosity. Solvents evaporate during application and drying of paint and therefore do not become a part of the dried film.


Any attempt by an insurer to get the consumer to take their vehicle to a shop not of their own choosing. Steering is illegal in most states. Vehicle owners have the right to have their vehicle repaired at a shop of their choosing.

This is the time required to send your vehicle to the dealership or other vendors to complete the final procedures necessary to fully return your vehicle to pre-loss condition.

Refers to circumstances (such as when another party is responsible for an accident) in which your insurance company has paid expenses for medical and vehicle repair and then tries to recoup the expenses it paid from the other party or their insurance company.


The uncoated/unpainted body panel surface.

Additional repairs needed to complete the repair that were not identified on the original estimate. It is often impossible to identify all damage to a vehicle until it’s disassembled.

An increase in your auto insurance premium due to an at-fault accident or a moving violation.

A specially treated cloth used to wipe a surface just prior to painting to remove any dust or contaminates that may inhibit paint adhesion or cause imperfections in the paint.

The imprint caused by applying masking tape on to a newly-applied paint film before it has time to harden.

The length of time for which an insurance policy is in force.

A blend of solvents added to paint to reduce it to the correct consistency for application.

A topcoat color that consists of three parts—a base coat, a mid coat and a clear coat. This is also referred to as a tri-coat.

A threshold level represents the degree of injury a claimant must establish before being allowed to sue the negligent party.

The process of mixing toners to match the existing paint finish, then blending or overlapping the color into the adjacent panel to avoid color match problems.

The final layers of paint whose role is primarily decorative. However, the topcoat often provides protection against ultra-violet light present in sunlight.

A wrongful act, whether intentional or accidental (negligence), resulting in legal liability for damage or injury. Automobile liability insurance is purchased to protect one from suits arising from unintentional torts. Some states ask you to select a tort provision. In these states, you can limit your right to sue for non-monetary damages (like pain and suffering) in exchange for a reduced auto insurance premium.

A vehicle is considered a total loss when the collision, fire or water damage is so extensive that repair costs would exceed the value of the vehicle. Depending on the state in which the vehicle is insured, a total loss may be defined differently. For example, in some states a total loss may be equal to the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV), while in other states a total loss may be a percentage of the vehicle’s ACV—usually about 75%.
Generally speaking, if the repair cost is anywhere near the vehicle’s ACV, the insurance company may total the vehicle because subsequent supplemental repair claims encountered during the repair process could easily push the repair cost beyond the ACV amount. In most cases, the older the vehicle, the more easily it will total-out in the event of a crash.


That portion of the light spectrum that is largely responsible for the degradation of paint.

Provides high limits of additional liability coverage above the limits of your homeowner’s and auto policy. In addition, it provides coverage that may be excluded by other liability policies.

A type of vehicle body construction in which the outer skin, roof, and floor are formed and assembled to produce a single unit providing structural strength and rigidity. This concept was introduced in the 1920’s but was not widely used in mass-produced automobiles until the late 1970’s. Prior to this time, vehicle bodies were built and bolted to separate steel chassis. Conventional pickup trucks are still built in this manner.


Pays (up to the coverage limit) for injuries to you and other passengers in your vehicle, and property damage caused by a hit-and-run driver or a motorist without liability insurance. It will also pay when your medical and vehicle repair bills are higher than the other driver´s liability coverage.

See Salvage Parts.

This is an acronym for Vehicle Identification Number, a number unique for every single vehicle produced. It serves to not only identify a specific vehicle but also contains coded information relative to such things as the vehicle’s country of origin, manufacturing plant, trim code, drive train, and interior and exterior color just to name a few. This number helps the body shop order the correct replacement parts and the correct paint color for each car. Any professional estimate or repair order will include this number.

The limited written warranty issued to the purchaser of the vehicle by the manufacturer.
Your vehicle manufacturer’s Original Equipment collision replacement parts are the only service replacement parts warranted by your vehicle manufacturer. New aftermarket, salvage or reconditioned parts used for collision repair may not be warranted by your vehicle manufacturer. Damage to your vehicle or its parts caused by the failure of new aftermarket, salvage or reconditioned parts may not be covered by your vehicle manufacturer’s new-vehicle warranty.