Can my insurance provider use aftermarket parts to repair my vehicle?

Yes, your insurance provider will use aftermarket parts to repair your vehicle. In fact, most insurance companies prefer aftermarket parts to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and they will not pay out claims using OEM parts.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

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Your car insurance provider is required to repair your vehicle to its pre-loss condition. However, there may be some debate over what that actually means: can your insurance provider use aftermarket parts to repair your vehicle? Can your insurance company use a third party manufacturer’s parts to save money on repair costs? Or are they required to use OEM parts? Understanding auto insurance can help you answer these questions and any others you may have. Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about which parts your insurance company uses to repair your vehicle.

Your Insurance Provider Can Use Aftermarket Parts

Most drivers prefer installing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts on their vehicle. Technically, both OEM and third party parts fit your vehicle in the same way. However, there’s a perception that OEM parts are better. Some drivers feel OEM parts fit the car more perfectly, for example. Some believe that they last longer or perform better.

Unfortunately, your insurance company does not prefer OEM parts: your insurance company will typically only cover claims for non-OEM parts. You can pay the difference and install OEM parts on your vehicle out of pocket, although your insurance company will still only cover the cost of non-OEM parts.

That’s why insurance companies will typically require the repair shop to use aftermarket parts.

When you file an insurance claim, the insurance carrier might require you to use an authorized repair shop to repair your vehicle. When you take your vehicle to the authorized shop, you may be told that the insurance company requires the repair shop to use aftermarket parts.

Fortunately for you, there are some situations where you can get OEM parts added to your vehicle even when an insurance company is refusing to cover OEM parts. Below, we’ll explain some of the strategies drivers use to avoid adding non-OEM components to their vehicle during repairs.

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How to Get OEM Parts for Your Insurance Claim

Generally, insurance companies will want the authorized repair shop to use non-OEM parts when repairing your vehicle. However, there are certain ways around this requirement. Many drivers are able to get OEM parts completely covered on an insurance claim.

Not All Parts Are Available from Non-OEM Sources

First, it’s important to note that third party manufacturers don’t necessarily manufacture everything. A certain vehicle might have a proprietary component that is only made by the original manufacturer, for example.

OEM Parts May Be Unavailable

If you have an older vehicle or a discontinued vehicle, then getting OEM parts may be impossible. In many situations, you are required to use aftermarket parts because there is no other option: even if you wanted to use OEM parts, you can no longer purchase them. If the repair shop insists that OEM parts are unavailable, then the repair shop may be telling the truth.

Request OEM Parts Coverage in Advance

Some insurance companies allow you to request to use OEM parts. If you have not already been in an accident, then you may be able to upgrade your car insurance policy to insist on using OEM parts.

Generally, this is an option with most insurance companies. However, it’s rarely covered automatically in a standard policy. You will need to pay a higher premium every month in exchange for using OEM parts during repairs.

Keep in mind that not all insurance companies offer OEM parts coverage – even if you’re willing to pay extra. With some insurance companies, only aftermarket parts are covered in your claim no matter what.

Consider Paying the Difference Out of Pocket for OEM Parts Instead of Aftermarket Parts

Your insurance company will rarely cover OEM parts. However, that doesn’t mean drivers are forced to install non-OEM parts on a vehicle: you can pay extra for OEM parts, then pay the difference in price between OEM parts and non-OEM parts.

If an OEM bumper costs $300, for example, and a non-OEM bumper costs $200, then your insurance company would cover the $200 non-OEM bumper and you would pay the difference ($100).

You get superior parts on your vehicle. Your insurance company covers most of your claim. You pay a certain amount out of pocket, but you get the satisfaction of having OEM parts.

Conclusion: Can your insurance provider use aftermarket parts?

Generally, OEM parts coverage does not come standard on a car insurance policy. Your insurance company will insist on using aftermarket parts wherever possible when processing your claim. Insurance companies require non-OEM parts in order to keep insurance prices low for everyone.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use non-OEM parts on your vehicle. You can pay the difference out of pocket, for example. Or, some insurance companies allow you to add OEM parts coverage to your policy in exchange for higher premiums.

Talk to your insurance company about OEM parts coverage to determine if it’s worth adding to your car insurance policy.

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