Insurance Car Repair Rights – Consumer Choices

You get what you pay for. Or sometimes you pay for something and get something else. You can also pay for something like a car insurance policy that does not have complete clarity to you, and then when you are in an car accident and need a car repair, that’s the moment you find out how the auto insurance company interprets your agreement.

Peter Hart & Stephen Karp have been dealing with automobile, truck & motorcycle insurance for decades. As personal injury lawyers they have seen it all!

Aftermarket, OEM & Used Car Parts – What’s The Difference?

  • Aftermarket Car Replacement Parts are not made by the auto manufacturer. In other words – the fender for your Subaru is not made by Subaru. There are all different grades of quality control, and these parts are cheaper, but have not gone through the stringent testing of the branded replacement parts.
  • OEM Car Replacement Parts mean Original Equipment Manufacturer parts. Just what it says, the Toyota bumper is made by Toyota. It will fit right and have the integrity of the same part that came with the vehicle.
  • Used Salvage (Junk Yard) Parts are parts from other people’s wrecked cars. So the Chevy quarter panel is a Chevy one – but a somewhat vintage one that might have been shaken up a bit, dismantled, cleaned up, tagged and listed for sale in an inventory directory.

Simple question – which part would you prefer when the repair shop puts your own crashed car back together? We guess the answer is OEM.

In this informative video, Peter Hart has a conversation with Steve Baron at Crawford’s Auto Body in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Peter knows the legal landscape for car insurance repairs, and Steve knows the landscape through his eyes as an auto repair shop specialist. We hope you find this overview helpful and insightful when buying car insurance, and when going through the process of getting your accident repaired.

Car Insurance & Repair Parts Video Transcript:

CAPTION: Karp & Hart

>>>ATTORNEY PETER HART: This is Peter Hart from Karp and Hart and I’m here today with Steve Baron from Crawford’s Auto Body about aftermarket parts and how they affect the consumer.

>>>STEVE BARON: An aftermarket part is a replica of the original equipment manufacturer, only OEM parts have been crash tested, only OEM parts go through a lot of stringent checking and testing to make sure that they fit properly, that they sustain impact properly, and that they’re safe parts for the consumer.

>>>PETER HART: OEM again means…

>>>STEVE BARON: OEM means original equipment manufacturer. We have collision repair facilities that are contracted with insurance companies, and because their contract stipulates…

>>>PETER HART: I pulled out my insurance policy. It actually says that you can use used parts. Does that mean they can go to a junk yard?

>>>STEVE BARON: Used salvage parts are a big problem in our industry because it’s another way for the insurance carrier to save the cost of the repair.

>>>PETER HART: What scares me Steve is dealing with wheels…

>>>STEVE BARON: This whole process all started because you had a wheel that was scratched and somebody was good at repairing aluminum wheels, and then somebody sat back and said, “I can make a living doing this,” so it’s gotten totally out of hand – because a reconditioned wheel – there’s no way again to check the integrity of a reconditioned wheel.

>>>PETER HART: So here at Crawford’s, here Steve, how do you handle a situation where it comes into you where the insurance company says well we want you to use a used part here to save us some money?

>>>STEVE BARON: We tell the appraiser that we don’t use reconditioned wheels, and we also have the discussion with the owner of the vehicle and the consumer, and let the consumer make the choice. If the consumer choses to allow that reconditioned wheel to be installed on their car then we ask that a waiver be signed.

>>>PETER HART: Does the consumer have to pay extra money sometimes to use a brand new part?

>>>STEVE BARON: It all depends on who the insurance carrier is and what relationship the consumer has with the insurance carrier – you have the right to have a new wheel be put on your car.

CAPTION: Having a good relationship with your insurance carrier helps.

>>>PETER HART: You have to read the insurance contract and look at the details and compare apples to apples when picking a carrier.

>>>STEVE BARON: If consumers read their insurance policies, and understood the language within the policy, or took the policy to an attorney and said, “What are my rights in this policy?” There’d be a major change over in the way policies are written because consumers would have a better understanding of what they are paying for.

CAPTION: Crawford’s Auto Body

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