How to Get OEM Parts for an Insurance Claim

Using OEM parts
Getty Images/Joe Raedle

Lots of people prefer OEM parts when compared to after market parts. OEM parts just seem to fit a little better and you have the peace of mind that your vehicle is made of parts right from the manufacturer. The only problem is that most insurance carriers only use after market parts and not OEM parts. Do not assume your car insurance coverage comes automatically with OEM parts because most likely it does not.

Learn how to get OEM parts used for your car insurance claim.

Request OEM parts in advance.

If OEM parts are important to you, you will need to look for a car insurance carrier which offers OEM parts. Some insurance carriers do not offer them at all. When you are shopping for car insurance, make OEM parts one of your top questions.

Even if an insurance carrier offers OEM parts, they are probably not automatic on a standard policy. You will need to request the coverage and most likely pay an additional fee to get it. OEM parts are best suited for newer vehicles. It could be impossible to get OEM parts for older vehicles.

Not all parts can be replaced with OEM parts.

Aging vehicles or discontinued models may not have OEM parts available. After market and used parts are sometimes the only option. There is only so much a body shop and an insurance company can do about it. It is up to you to determine if you want OEM coverage.

Ask a body shop about the availability of OEM parts for your vehicle if you think it could potentially not be available.

What if my insurance carrier does not offer OEM parts?

Sometimes OEM parts are just not an option provided by insurance. It does not mean you have to go with after market parts. If OEM means everything to you, you can pay the difference.

Your insurance will cover the cost of the after market parts and you can tell the body shop you want OEM parts. You will be responsible for covering the difference in cost between the after market parts and the OEM parts. The cost could add up quickly so make certain you will be happier knowing the parts are straight from your car manufacturer.

Why don't insurance carriers always use OEM parts?

It is important to remember that insurance carriers use after market parts to help keep insurance rates affordable. If everyone used OEM parts all the time, car insurance would cost a whole lot more. If you did not have any physical damage coverage on your vehicle and had to repair it on your own, would you pay the extra cost for OEM parts? Or, would you use the cheaper parts which are extremely similar?

Body shops love OEM parts.

Body shops love OEM parts and often make car owners nervous about any other type of part. Why wouldn't they love them though? They make more profit, they fit a little smoother, and did I mention they make more? Depending on the part, safety could be an issue too. 

Insurance carriers are supposed to do what they can to get your car back to its original condition before the accident.

Most average drivers can not tell the difference between an after market part and an OEM part. If you prefer OEM, plan on paying a little bit more for the coverage. Speak with an insurance agent to find out how much it will cost you, to help determine if the cost is worth the coverage.