If your vehicle needs repairs, you may need to purchase replacement parts. Ideally, you should purchase parts from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that supplied the original parts to your vehicle. However, this is not always possible, and aftermarket parts may be necessary for some repair jobs. Additionally, many aftermarket parts come from the same manufacturer of their original counterparts, and the only real difference is branding. While some aftermarket parts are completely safe to use and perform at equivalent levels to OEM parts, some drivers’ insurance policies may contain specific verbiage for aftermarket parts, and a policy may only allow for partial coverage for these parts or require OEM parts.
Check How Your Insurance Policy Handles Parts
If you need repairs for your vehicle, check your insurance policy to see how the policy handles parts. Some insurance policies will allow for minimal coverage for aftermarket parts while others strictly cover OEM parts. If you expect coverage for a necessary repair, you must follow your insurance policy’s terms and conditions.
When shopping for auto insurance, take aftermarket parts into consideration if you think you would prefer to save money by buying an aftermarket part instead of an OEM part. A policy with more flexible coverage could lead to significant savings on your repair bill. For example, one policy may only offer up to $1,000 in compensation for aftermarket parts while another policy makes no distinction between aftermarket and OEM parts for needed repairs.
Insurance May Not Cover Customized & Cosmetic Parts
Most insurance policies do not cover custom parts, customized body repairs, or cosmetic additions to a vehicle, such as a custom spoiler damaged in an accident. However, many auto insurance carriers offer their policyholders the opportunity to purchase custom part coverage or other specific types of additional coverage that may take effect if a customized car has an accident. Drivers of these vehicles should remember that illegal modifications to a vehicle would not only not qualify for insurance coverage but could also potentially lead to legal penalties.
Can You Secure Coverage After an Accident?
It is very important to report any accident to your insurance company, regardless of who was at fault. You may be able to secure compensation for your vehicle repairs from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, but you may also need to rely on your own coverage depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. Most insurance companies require policyholders to report any accident with an insured vehicle, even if the driver seeks compensation from an at-fault driver’s policy. Failure to report an accident as required could lead to the insurance company dropping your coverage or denying coverage, or even terminating your insurance contract in extreme cases.
The first step in securing compensation after any accident is to determine liability for the car accident. If your car accident occurred in a no-fault state, you would file a claim for coverage against your own personal injury protection coverage with your no-fault insurance policy. In a fault-based state, you must prove the at-fault driver caused your accident to secure an insurance settlement from his or her auto insurance carrier. Any insurance carrier will want to investigate a claim for coverage and verify it before handing out a settlement, and insurance companies have a right to do so. However, they also have a legal duty to process all claims in good faith.
If your vehicle needs repairs after an accident and you have concerns about aftermarket parts and how they fit into your policy, speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can review your auto insurance policy’s terms and help you establish liability for the accident. If you need aftermarket parts, your car accident attorney can help ensure the appropriate insurance carrier meets the applicable terms of coverage included in the policy in question.