By June 20, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Choosing Parts for Your Car Insurance Claim

Reader question:

Can the insurance company I’m with decide which parts I have to use when repairing my car?


No way, Mark.

Your insurer can’t make you use certain kinds of parts. All the same, if the car insurance company your with bases their rates on a certain kind of part, but you want to go for something different, they’re well within their rights asking you to pay the difference.

The parts that get most of the damage when it comes to car accidents are called ‘crash parts’. Those are the pieces of sheet metal that cover the engine and frame. You know, the part that crunches up when you hit the car in front of you. These crash parts have two sources: the manufacturer, known as OEMs, original equipment manufacturers, who sell the parts under their own names; and generic/aftermarket parts suppliers. Generic markets in these parts bring the prices down greatly, and they do not affect the actual safety of the car.

If your insurance company orders generic parts for your car, it has to state that it didn’t get them from the OEM. Sometimes the generic parts are made in the same factories as the OEM parts, so making this distinction is important. Companies that use these generic parts guarantee them most of the time. If the generic part doesn’t work or won’t fit, they’ll go for the OEM part without charging extra.

Some companies offer customers a choice between OEM and generic parts, but even if they don’t you can ask for the OEM parts instead, if you feel it necessary. Talk to your insurance agent to find out what the guidelines are for settling claims in your state and company, so that you’ll have an idea of what you should expect if you have to get your car repaired after a crash.


Fashun Guadarrama.

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