Thursday, January 21, 2010

Using Aftermarket Parts and Its Effect on Your Auto Insurance Premium

Getting involved in a car accident is nasty business, but not as nasty as when your vehicle is uninsured. Having your car covered by the policy of an auto insurance company can help you out greatly with the repair of your car (and of the other party’s car, if that is the case), medical bills, and even legal representation, should it come to that. But with regard to car repairs, there might just be some things you need to know and discuss with your insurer.

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are automotive parts made by a certain vehicle’s manufacturer. Aftermarket parts are essentially non-OEM parts, manufactured by third-party vendors. As part of the process of you shopping around for the ideal insurance company for you, you must determine what an insurer’s policies are regarding the use of OEM and aftermarket parts. There are two reasons for this: First, you might be the type of person who likes to be set apart from the rest of the world, even with the car you drive. You don’t want to be just another owner of the usual BMW or Mercedes Benz, but you’d like your car lowered, looking more aggressive with a new back fin, spoiler, or wing. Chances are, you’ll be using aftermarket parts for these modifications, and your insurance company might not like that and may increase your premium or discontinue coverage entirely when they find out. Hence, you must know what their policies exactly are regarding the use of aftermarket parts.

The other reason you must discuss this issue with your insurer is that they might actually use aftermarket parts themselves for the repair of your vehicle in case of an accident. If you’re the exact opposite of the guy in the previous example, then you’ll want only genuine BMW parts for your BMW, or Mercedes Benz parts for your Mercedes Benz. You want to maintain the quality of your car being 100% the brand that it is, and not some mutt of a vehicle with shoddy attachments on it. And, as this is an existing practice for some, insurers may cheat on you so they can save on money. They may go for well-done repairs with aftermarket parts which may pass for OEM parts in the eyes of the unassuming guy, who will only later on find out about the deception when he decides to trade or sell his car and the real value of his car is revealed by expert inspectors. When your auto insurance company handles the repair of your vehicle, the goal is to have your car returned to its pre-accident condition. But the reason post-repair inspectors now exist is to assess if that goal has actually been achieved. You must be wise yourself to know how to demand that OEM parts alone be used in the repair of your car post-accident. Though you most likely would have to pay much for the use of OEM parts instead of aftermarket ones, there will be no hassle selling or trading your vehicle because its quality has been maintained, and hence its value is not unduly diminished.

For more information regarding car insurance, is a great site to help you with all your insurance needs.