Insurance Company Preferred Shops and OEM Parts
Your car is one of your largest investments. Accidents are stressful, and when you need repairs on your car, deciding which body shop to use can be enough to put you over the edge.
The insurance company will show you a list of preferred or recommended auto body repair shops. These shops have been approved by the insurance company to make estimates and repairs on their own. This ideally means you get fixed faster. It might also mean the repair shop is looking out for the insurance company more than you. You do NOT have to use any of these shops, it is the LAW that you have freedom of choice. If you have a local shop you can use them instead of the insurance company’s chosen shop.
The Preferred Body Shop Is Not Your Only Option
The fact is, customers can choose to get their cars repaired by the body shop they choose. It’s important to note that when an insurance company marks a body shop as preferred, that shop may be under pressure to keep repair costs low. Unfortunately, some shops turn to questionable measures, like using inferior parts.
When body shops refuse to comply with these types of tactics, they are removed from the insurance company’s preferred list. This practice, called insurance steering, is the subject of a lawsuit that is currently underway. More than 500 auto body shops across 36 states are suing State Farm, the largest share auto insurer in the country, for deceptive practices.
Quality Replacement Parts
In the industry people generally refer to three different types of parts. OEM parts are Original Equipment Manufacturer parts which mean they are new replacement parts built by the original marker to the original specifications. LKQ (Like Kind and Quality) parts refers to used, recycled, or rebuilt OEM parts. Aftermarket parts are made by a third party manufacturer and may or may not be built to the same specifications as the OEM part.
Depending on the make, style, and condition of your vehicle you should be concerned which type of parts are used. If you have a car only a year or two old you should make sure OEM parts are used because the parts being replaced were pretty new. Also if you have a luxury, import, or exotic car using OEM parts will protect the value. LKQ parts might be fine for most other vehicles but you should be discussing this with your repair shop. Aftermarket parts also have their use but you should be wary of using these especially if the repair shop is against it.
Trust Direct Paint to Do the Job Right
Don’t be fooled–just because your insurance company says that an auto body shop is preferred, doesn’t mean it’s where you have to go. At Direct Paint, we do everything in our power to make sure every car that leaves our shop is repaired safely and correctly. We have experience working with all insurance companies, including Progressive, Allstate, Geico, Nationwide, and State Farm.
Insurance steering is the reason why we recommend our customers to get post-repair inspections.