Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • You can usually ask for your car to be repaired with aftermarket or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts
  • Aftermarket parts are usually less expensive than OEM parts
  • Using aftermarket parts can avoid a total loss declaration
  • If you need an insurance policy that allows you to choose between OEM and aftermarket parts, you can use a comparison tool to find a better insurance policy

Most insurance companies cover the use of aftermarket parts to repair your car after it has been damaged in a car accident, and depending on the state, the repair shop may or may not have to disclose the use of aftermarket parts.

If you want to ensure your repair bill is low, aftermarket parts may be a viable way to repair your car, but if you want original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, you may have to discuss it with the repair shop and your insurance company.

OEM parts could be worth more than your car’s pre-accident value, which could leave you with the reminder of a hefty repair bill or result in your car being declared a total loss.

If you need an insurance policy that covers aftermarket and OEM parts, you can use a comparison tool to quickly find a new policy. Just enter your zip code above to get started.

Insurance Claims and Car Parts

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During the claims process, your insurance company may send out an adjuster to broadly estimate the damage to your car.

In general, they will look at the external damage, take pictures and tell the insurance company how much they think it will cost to repair your car. This estimate is usually below your car insurance limits and the value of your car.

Once you get your car into the insurance recommended repair shop, items the adjuster couldn’t see will likely raise the amount of the repair bill.

This adjustment could push the repair higher than your car’s pre-accident value, resulting in your car being declared a total loss, or it could push the repair higher than your car insurance limits.

If the latter happens, you could be forced to pay the remaining cost of the repairs from your own finances.

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Reducing the Amount of Your Post-Accident Repair Bill

One way to reduce your post-accident repair bill is to tell the collision center to use aftermarket parts.

In general, aftermarket parts are significantly cheaper than using parts from the original manufacturer, which means your car may be able to be repaired for less than its pre-accident value and/or less than your car insurance limits.

If you need car insurance with higher limits and improved coverage, you can use a comparison tool to quickly find an affordable policy with better terms.

The Difference between Manufacturer Parts and Aftermarket Parts

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When it comes to repairing your vehicle after an accident, the repair shop can choose to use manufacturer parts, called original equipment manufacturer parts, or they can choose to use aftermarket parts, which are parts that are built by companies other than the manufacturer.

Some drivers may prefer manufacturer parts for their cars after a car wreck, especially if they have a newer vehicle and are still making payments.

– OEM Pros

  • OEM parts are built and distributed by the vehicle’s manufacturer. OEM parts are built and distributed by the vehicle’s manufacturer.
  • They are designed for the specific make and model and meet all of the manufacturer’s criteria for replacement parts.
  • They are designed for the specific make and model and meet all of the manufacturer’s criteria for replacement parts.
  • The part usually comes with a warranty directly backed by the manufacturer.

– OEM Cons

  • OEM parts are vastly more expensive than aftermarket parts.
  • Using all OEM parts could result in a repair bill higher than your car’s pre-accident value.
  • Some OEMs are only available at the dealership.
  • OEMs for older vehicles may not be available.

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Pros and Cons of Aftermarket Parts for Car Repairs

When it comes to using aftermarket parts to repair a vehicle after a crash, the repair shop must follow certain guidelines.

Many states, including Alabama, Colorado, and West Virginia, require repair shops to disclose that they are using aftermarket parts.

In order to use aftermarket parts in some states, the shop must tell you which parts are aftermarket, if the parts meet the same criteria as an OEM part and disclose the amount of the repair estimate.

– AfterMarket Pros

  • Aftermarket parts are generally less expensive than OEM parts.
  • Aftermarket parts often meet or exceed the standards for OEM parts.
  • Aftermarket parts are often available for all types and ages of vehicles, even in the manufacturer has stopped stocking the part.

– Aftermarket Cons

  • Aftermarket parts may or may not come with a warranty.
  • The quality of the aftermarket part can vary greatly between dealers.
  • It may be difficult to choose the correct aftermarket part due to the plethora of dealers and parts styles.

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Getting the Right Collision Repair Auto Insurance

To ensure that your car receives the correct repairs after a car accident, you may need collision repair car insurance. Collison car insurance pays for your vehicle to be repaired regardless of your at-fault status.

To find a policy that meets all of your driving needs, you can use our free comparison tool to quickly shop the policies of multiple insurance carriers.