Glossary of Common Repair Terms
Adjuster- An insurance company employee who processes claims submitted by policy holders and claimants; determines the fair market value of the item(s) that caused the claim; and negotiates an appropriate settlement and issues payment for the claim.
Aftermarket- New parts not manufactured or supplied by the auto maker.
Appearance Allowance- An amount of money credited or paid to a vehicle owner for damage that will not be repaired.
Betterment- An amount of money paid by the vehicle owner for the repair or replacement of a component that was worn or otherwise damaged before the date of loss. For example, a repair on a car with worn tires may incur betterment for a portion of the tire replacement cost. The reasoning is that the tires were not brand new before the damage occurred. After the repair the car will have a new tire or tires. This makes the tires better than before the damage occurred.
CAPA- An organization that certifies aftermarket parts for conformity to OEM standards.
Claimant- This is the party who has a claim against another party, the insured. The insurance company of the insured pays the claimant. The claimant’s insurance company is usually not involved.
Comprehensive- Claim type covering non-collision related damage. Examples are hail damage, wind damage, or damage caused by road debris.
Deductible- A fixed dollar amount stated in an auto insurance policy reflecting the amount of self-insurance the policyholder has elected to take. It is the portion of any loss for which the policyholder will accept responsibility rather than hold his insurance company liable. Accordingly, when determining the amount it will pay as insured, the insurance company subtracts the deductible from the actual cash value.
Estimate- A detailed list of labor operations and parts required to return a vehicle to its pre-loss condition. An estimate also documents the damage that occurred as a result of the loss. When an estimate is agreed upon by the vehicle owner, the insurer and the repairer, it is converted to an Estimate of Record which cannot be modified.
First Party Claimant- A claimant who is seeking recovery for a loss from his or her own insurance company.
LKQ- Used parts, usually OEM, that may require some repair. Commonly referred to as “Salvage parts”, "Used parts", or "Recycled parts".
Optional OEM- OPT OEM, OPT OE (Optional OEM) or ALT OEM (Alternative OEM) parts are OEM parts that may be provided by or through alternate sources other than the OEM vehicle dealerships. OPT OEM, OPT OE or ALT OEM parts may reflect some specific, special, or unique pricing or discount. OPT OEM or ALT OEM parts may include "Blemished" parts provided by OEM's through OEM vehicle dealerships.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)- It refers to a part supplied by the manufacturer of the vehicle (e.g., Ford, Toyota, Volvo).
Reconditioned- A used part that has been reconditioned for re-use, usually purchased from a local re-builder.
Recycled Parts- Used parts, usually OEM, that may require some repair. Commonly referred to as “Salvage parts”, "Used parts", or "Recycled parts". (See LKQ)
Supplement- Revisions to the original estimate. This normally involves an increase in part prices, or for additional damages discovered during the repair. An Estimate of Record cannot be modified, so a Supplement is written to document the items that are not listed on the original estimate. (See Estimate.)
Third Party Claimant- In an accident where two or more parties are involved, a claimant is the person who is not at fault and attempts to collect from the insurance company of the person at fault.
Total Loss- A percentage of the approximate market value of a vehicle. When an estimate meets or exceeds this threshold, the vehicle is considered a Total Loss. The percentage is established by the insurance company and is typically 70-90%. However, in MD, the state has set the threshold by law at 75%.