(415) 865-8400

Frequently Asked Questions

Car accidents bring about a lot of questions

The repair process can be confusing and there may be information on the appraisal that requires explanation. We have compiled a list of the most common questions from our customers and hopefully you will find some answers here. If you need further assistance, or don’t see what you are looking for, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Should I make an insurance claim?

There can be many things to consider when deciding whether to make an insurance claim or not. We would be glad to provide you with options to assist you in making your decision. Call one of our locations and arrange to bring the car in for a preliminary inspection and to discuss your concerns.

Can I use the shop of my choice?

When you are involved with an insurance claim, you are in the driver’s seat. You, and only you decide who will repair your damaged vehicle. Your insurance company may prefer to have a particular repair shop perform the repairs on your vehicle but, ultimately it is your decision. Customer Satisfaction is our goal and is backed up by our lifetime guarantee.

Collect from the other party?

If you decide to collect payment from the other party, you may want to consider contacting us for a free inspection of the vehicle before committing to settling to cost of repairs. On today’s vehicles, it is often times difficult to determine how much damage was caused in the accident. On first glance it may appear there is no any damage. Many times we have found damages that initially went undetected. It is always best to arrange to bring your vehicle by for a quick inspection and for some peace of mind.

What is a supplement?

A supplement is the cost of damages that are found over and above of the initial estimated cost of damages. Our preference is to remove the parts from the vehicle to expose any hidden damage, although this is not always possible. In this way we can provide you with a more accurate cost of repairs.

What is a claim assignment?

You may hear the term “claim assignment” if your repairs are being handled by your insurance companies Direct Repair Program. The claim assignment is an electronic file. It contains the necessary information that the shop would need in order begin and process your vehicle repairs.

What is the deductible and when do I pay it?

Your deductible is the amount of the repairs that you as the insured is responsible for. Your insurance company is responsible for everything above your deductible amount. The insurance company pays the full bill at completion of the vehicle repairs, less the deductible amount. The insured pays their deductible amount upon pickup of their vehicle.

Do the parts come painted from the dealer?

Very few parts come painted from the dealer. Color coded parts are usually minor parts such as mirrors, moldings, and trim panels. Our estimators will always take into consideration if a part is painted and if it is cost effective to use. By far the majority of parts need refinishing when we receive them.

What is an OEM part?

The term OEM (original equipment manufacturer) is used to describe a part that is supplied by the manufacturer of a particular vehicle line.

What is an aftermarket part?

An aftermarket part is a part that is manufactured by a company other than the manufacturer of your vehicle. It is used in place of a factory made part. It is a low cost alternative when available.

What is a used part?

Used or “recycled” parts are parts that are removed from one vehicle to be used in the repairs of another vehicle. The use of these parts is primarily to reduce the cost of repairs. It may also be that the part needed may no longer be available through the manufacturer. We do business with several auto dismantlers that provide us with quality parts when needed.

Who pays the tow bill?

The Insurance Company responsible for paying for your repairs is also responsible for paying the tow bill to the shop of your choice. If the Insurance Company selected a shop and you prefer to go elsewhere, they are still obligated to pay for the additional tow.

What is load leveling?

This refers to businesses with multiple locations. Load leveling is an industry term used for the process of moving the damaged vehicle to one of the company’s repair locations to expedite the repairs. This is done only with the customer’s authorization. F. Lofrano & Son has several locations and offers this option to our customers.

Do I need three estimates?

You do not need three estimates to determine the damage to your vehicle, unless of course that is your desire. It is best for you to decide which repair shop you would like to repair your vehicle and have them perform a thorough inspection.

What is a claimant?

In the insurance claims process there is an insured and a claimant. When an insurance company is responsible for the damages to the other party, that party is the claimant.

What is a “DRP” facility?

Direct Repair Program or DRP, is the general term for an insurance company’s referral program. Many insurance companies have agreements with chosen auto body shops that work within their referral programs. F. Lofrano & Son is part of many DRP’s as well. Over the past 40 years, we have developed a good working relationship with all of the insurance companies whether we are in a DRP relationship or not. Should your insurance agent or claim representative suggest a shop other than F. Lofrano & Son, remember the choice of who repairs your car is solely yours.

Do you provide a rental car?

We do not offer our customers a rental car but, we do have a good relationship with two rental companies and can coordinate with them to give you a discounted rate which is offered to F. Lofrano & Son customers.

If you are an insured, check with your insurance provider for the details of your rental agreement. In most cases, if your vehicle is safe to drive and in legal for driving on the street, your insurance company would prefer that you pick up a rental car on your scheduled repair date. Otherwise, you run the risk of incurring the cost of the additional rental days. If you decide to purchase insurance coverage from the rental company, it will be at your expense.

If you are the claimant, you are entitled to a rental car as part of your loss. It is best to check with the claim representative of the other party before renting a car.

If your vehicle is unsafe or illegal (it may be ticketed) to drive due to the accident, you are entitled to a rental vehicle immediately upon being issued a claim number. We can arrange to tow your vehicle to one of our safe and secure locations.

Do I need to take out insurance on my rental car?

Check your insurance policy or contact your insurance company. It may be unnecessary for you to take the insurance offered by the rental company as you may be covered by your own insurance.

Can you give me a Ball Park estimate?

Sometimes you only need to know an approximate cost, in the ballpark quote on the cost of the damages. You may need to know if you should make an insurance claim or pay for it out of pocket. Our estimators are very experienced at damage analysis and would be glad to assist you in making your decision. It is best to contact the most convenient location for you and arrange for a quick “Ball Park” guesstimate.