Understand Aftermarket Parts and Auto Insurance Repair Practices

In the latest FAQ, the writers at OnlineAutoInsurance.com explain what types of parts auto insurance companies can use when repairing a car and the options afforded to policyholders.

Online PR News – 17-September-2010 – – When motorists who have been in an accident bring their cars to be repaired, there is a variety of types of parts that may be used to fix the damages. Auto insurance companies can approve the use of LKQ (Like Kind and Quality), OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or aftermarket (non-OEM) parts.

With such esoteric terms being thrown around, consumers may have some auto insurance claims questions when it comes to the process of repairing an insured vehicle. First, it’s important to understand the different types of parts that may be used.

Though cars involved in bad accidents may have enough damage to be deemed a total loss, there may be some parts on the damaged vehicle that remain intact. Those parts are often sold by salvage yards to repair facilities for low cost, and these parts are referred to as LKQ. LKQ parts often get used because they come more cheaply than OEM parts and usually do not have fitting or matching problems, as they are usually the same as the original.

On the other hand, aftermarket, non-OEM parts are made not by the original manufacturer but by a third party to replicate the original part.

The more expensive route for insurance companies, generally, is to use an OEM part, which comes directly from the original manufacturer. Repair shops purchase these parts from local dealerships.

According to a 2009 report by the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research, at least 31 states require insurance companies to state on the repair estimate disclosure whether aftermarket parts are being used to fix an insured vehicle. The report also indicated that at least six require written consent from the policyholder before a facility can use an aftermarket part to repair his or her auto.

Source: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/rpt/2009-R-0398.htm

If an insurance policyholder does not feel comfortable with aftermarket parts, he or she may be able to request that an OEM part be used, provided that the policyholder pays for the monetary difference between the two. Motorists in this situation will most likely to be able to find out about their rights to use non-OEM or OEM parts by going to the state department of insurance’s website, or by contacting the department directly.

To access the full FAQ regarding the types of parts car insurance companies can use when repairing an auto, readers can go to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/learn/ where visitors will also be able to use the free quote-comparison generator to check coverage rates from a variety of carriers.

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