Do Insurance Companies Have to Use OEM Parts?

Insurance companies are a business, and like many businesses, they’re interested in maximizing profitability. This means that when insurers contract with auto body shops, there may be a tendency for them to urge auto shops to use generic parts in an effort to cut costs – particularly if you were the one at fault for the accident. In some instances, insurers may even offer auto repair shops kickbacks for using non-OEM parts. Don’t assume that your insurance coverage automatically covers OEM parts; most likely it doesn’t.

Can I still Use OEM Parts if They’re Not Covered?

If OEM parts are a deal-breaker for you, it’s recommended you find an insurer that covers them, however, even if yours does cover them, they may not be an automatic option on a standard policy. You’ll most likely need to request the coverage or even pay an additional fee. Then there’s the issue of older vehicles or discontinued models; there simply may no longer be OEM parts available. In this case, a body shop only has options to use aftermarket or used parts, regardless of the coverage you have.

If OEM parts aren’t covered by your insurance, you don’t necessarily have to go with aftermarket parts; you have the option of paying the difference between the cost of OEM and aftermarket. Your insurance will cover the price of aftermarket parts, and you can tell us that you want OEM parts for your repair instead. You’ll be fully responsible for covering the difference in cost, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the parts used in the repair are specific to your individual make and model. The cost difference can sometimes be significant, so be sure to budget accordingly for the work that you’re having done.

If you have any questions about the insurance process, requesting OEM parts, or about OEM parts in general, give us a call today! We’re always happy to address any questions you may have.