What Are Aftermarket Parts?
<lingo>When your vehicle is damaged in an accident, you will need to take it to a reputable auto mechanic or dealership to have it repaired. If specific parts were damaged in the accident, these may need to be replaced. Replacement parts generally fall into one of two categories: original manufacturer (OEM) parts or aftermarket parts. OEM parts come directly from your car's manufacturer and are made specifically for your vehicle, whereas aftermarket parts are made by a third party. If you have a choice between the two, it's always best to use OEM parts for repairs.</lingo>
Aftermarket Parts Clearly and Briefly Explained
When compared to OEM parts, aftermarket parts have some significant disadvantages. For starters, they're made by a third party, so there is no guarantee that they will be the perfect fit for your vehicle. They also tend to be made with lower quality materials than original manufacturer parts and may not come with the same warranties or guarantees; they may also affect the resale value of your vehicle.
<twitter>If you have a choice between the two, it's always best to use OEM parts for repairs.</twitter>
Unfortunately, some auto insurance policies will not include coverage for OEM parts, so drivers will have no choice but to use aftermarket parts for repairs after an accident (or pay out-of-pocket for OEM parts). In other cases, insurance may cover OEM parts but auto shops or mechanics may order aftermarket parts without informing the vehicle owner in an effort to increase their profits.
This is why it's so important to make sure you not only have coverage for OEM replacement parts in your auto insurance policy, but that you check with your auto repair mechanic to ensure that they are using OEM parts for your repairs. If your current auto insurance policy does not include coverage for OEM parts, now is a good time to upgrade your coverage so you can have the best possible repair done if your vehicle is ever damaged in an accident. In most cases, you can add OEM coverage to your existing collision/comprehensive insurance, so check with your agent.