Sean Lopez | February 3, 2023 | Car Accident
Can Insurance Companies Force You To Use Aftermarket Parts?
Florida’s insurance laws require that all drivers have a minimum of $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance coverage. PDL coverage pays for the damage to another person’s vehicle when a driver causes a car accident. Unfortunately, even though the insurance company for the driver who hit you agrees to pay for the repairs to your vehicle, it does not necessarily mean it must pay for original equipment manufacturer parts.
Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts vs. Aftermarket Parts
Understanding the difference between these parts and your rights regarding repairs after a St. Petersburg car accident is essential. The parts used to repair your vehicle could impact your vehicle’s value and warranty.
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are made by the vehicle’s manufacturer. They are the same parts used to manufacture the vehicle. The parts are subjected to the same testing and look identical to the parts on your vehicle.
On the other hand, aftermarket parts are produced by independent manufacturers. They are generic versions of the original parts and equipment used to manufacture the vehicle. Aftermarket parts are not used parts.
Is the Insurance Company Required To Use OEM Parts to Repair a Vehicle?
After an accident, the insurance company requires an estimate for repairs. You can choose which repair facility to provide estimates.
Property Damage coverage only requires an insurance company to provide parts of a similar kind and quality to the OEM parts. Therefore, the company may use aftermarket parts to make repairs because the aftermarket parts cost much less than OEM parts.
However, Florida law requires the insurance company to notify you if it plans to use aftermarket or non-OEM parts to make repairs. Further, the statute requires the insurance company to provide the disclosure in writing in a font no smaller than 10-point.
The statement must notify you that the estimate has been prepared based on using crash parts from another party other than your vehicle’s manufacturer. The statement also informs you that the aftermarket parts are warranted by the manufacturer of the parts, not your vehicle’s manufacturer.
Are Aftermarket Parts Safe To Use for Car Repairs After an Accident?
There is much debate about whether aftermarket parts are as safe as OEM parts. Some parties argue that aftermarket parts are lower-quality car parts, especially when they cost much less than OEM parts. In addition, some aftermarket parts do not have the certifications to prove they have the same crash ratings as OEM parts.
The Certified Automotive Parks Association (CAPA) reviews aftermarket parts. The CAPA conducts tests to determine the quality and suitability of aftermarket parts. However, even with CAPA approval, the aftermarket parts are still not original parts used by your manufacturer.
How Can Using Aftermarket Parts for Repairs Impact the Value of My Vehicle?
You have the right to request OEM parts to repair your vehicle after a car accident. However, the insurance company might refuse to use OEM parts because the cost is unreasonable when comparable aftermarket parts are available.
If this happens to you, talk with a St. Petersburg car accident lawyer before you settle your claim. Using aftermarket parts to repair your vehicle could void your vehicle’s manufacturer’s warranty. Furthermore, aftermarket parts could lower the vehicle’s fair market value.
When a vehicle is involved in a crash, there are two forms of diminished value that may apply. Immediate diminished value is the difference between your vehicle’s value before and after the car crash. Inherent diminished value is the decrease in a car’s value because the vehicle has a crash history.
However, a vehicle can also decrease in value because of the quality of repairs. Repair-related diminished value occurs when the repairs after a car accident are faulty or poor quality. Using aftermarket parts can contribute to repair-related diminished value.
What Compensation Can I Receive After a Car Accident in Florida?
You might be entitled to compensation for diminished value after a crash, and a St. Petersburg car accident attorney can evaluate your case during a free consultation.
In addition to property damage, you could also receive compensation for your personal injury damages caused by a car accident. Car crashes cause emotional, financial, and physical damages.
Economic damages in a car accident lawsuit include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Assistance with household chores
- Personal care
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Diminished earning capacity
Additionally, you could receive money for your non-economic damages. These damages cover the pain and suffering you experience because of the car wreck. Non-economic damages compensate you for permanent impairments and a decreased quality of life.
Understand Your Legal Options by Speaking With a Car Accident Attorney
The amount of money you receive for property and personal injury damages depends on the facts of your case. Insurance adjusters undervalue claims, so your claim may be worth more than you know. Therefore, it is wise to talk with an accident lawyer before settling your claim to ensure the insurance company pays a fair amount for damages.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm – Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys
Contact a St. Petersburg car accident lawyer at Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.
Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys
700 7th Ave N Suite B
St. Petersburg, FL 33701