If you're insurance company is paying for a repair on your vehicle, you might be confused about the process or whether there are any hidden costs. One of the hidden costs you might be questioning is that of parts. Can a car insurance company force you to use certain parts when paying for a car insurance claim? According to Car and Driver, the answer is no, but that doesn't mean complications don't arise. Most car insurance policies recommend the use of certain parts. If you want your mechanic to use parts that are more expensive than those recommended by the insurance company, you could end up paying the difference.
This doesn't mean that the insurance company is going to replace your damaged parts with parts that are faulty and will break within a couple of years. According to Car and Driver, car parts, like almost everything else, come in two varieties. This usually boils down to name brand and generic parts. Car and Driver stipulates that the parts most often replaced due to a car insurance claim are those that are likely to be damaged in a crash. This includes pieces of sheet metal that cover the important components like the engine. These types of car parts are classified as either Original Equipment Manager (OEM or name brand) parts or generic parts. Some insurance companies only pay for the generic parts. However, when the generic parts do not fit in the vehicle, an insurance company will generally replace with an OEM part free of charge.
What is the difference between OEM and generic parts? The answer is, luckily, not much. In fact, some might argue that the difference lies in the name. Often, these parts are all made at the same factories. In fact, very few OEM parts are actually made by the manufacturer whose name brand it wears.
If you want to know what parts your car insurance company offers, simply take a look at your car insurance policy. You might find that your company will pay for OEM parts if your car is a newer model. In addition, you could also find that your car insurance company offers OEM parts with an endorsement. According to Car and Driver, an endorsement is a clause of your policy that allows you to make certain choices - like the use of OEM parts - but also changes your policy agreement.
In most cases, you shouldn't require OEM parts when generic parts are available, since they generally perform at the same standard. However, you should check into your auto warranty if one is available. In certain cases, using generic instead of OEM parts will change your warranty.