Auto Body Repair FAQs
- Is vehicle repair a legal obligation?
Technically, no. You may need to get a vehicle repaired if a lien with a bank or other type of lender exists.
- Can an insurance company dictate which body shop I use?
"Steering" is the term for this practice, and it is illegal in most states. An insurance company should never compel you to use a particular body shop to avoid breaking the law.
- Does the insurance company have to pay for a non-repaired vehicle?
If you do not choose to have a vehicle repaired, you are still entitled to a payout that equals restoration to pre-loss condition or the vehicle's cash value. The amount that you receive is whichever is the lesser of the two.
- What is “pre-loss condition”?
Pre-loss condition describes the exact condition of your vehicle right before a collision. You are indemnified by the vehicle being restored to this condition by the insurance provider. This means that your vehicle will not improve in condition but should never diminish.
- How many estimates do I need?
You shouldn't need to get estimates, but it is recommended in many cases. Insurance companies typically use an appraiser to assess your vehicle and estimate the damage and diminished value.
- Why does the estimated amount differ between the insurer and that from my shop?
There are various factors upon which a body shop and insurance appraiser may disagree. Repair times, visible damage, experience and whether "aftermarket" or new parts are used are just some of the considerations.
- What are “after-market” parts?
The original equipment manufacturer does not make aftermarket parts. These parts are known by many terms, including "Like Kind and Quality Parts (LKQ)," "Quality Replacement Parts (QRP)," or "Economy Parts."
- Is of "like kind and quality" an accurate term?
These parts are typically substandard compared to those developed by the original equipment manufacturer. As a point of interest in the industry, countless independent studies have determined that these parts are largely inferior in quality.
- What is the difference between so-called "Quality Replacement Parts" and vehicle manufactured components?
One of the major issues with so-called quality replacement parts is "fit," which refers to how these components align with other components. In order to create QRPs, producers must reverse manufacture the original. This results in the need to rework components in various ways, leading to potential damage or inferior performance.
- What are the drawbacks of aftermarket parts?
Use of aftermarket parts may void the factory warranty of your vehicle. On a more domestic level, these parts are often sourced internationally, impacting U.S. manufacturing.
- Can my insurance company force me to accept aftermarket parts?
This should not happen, but customers are often tricked into accepting aftermarket parts. You can seek help from our Wreck Check Car Scan Center. Alternatively, a government insurance commissioner in your state can provide support.
- How can I avoid these inferior parts?
The Wreck Check Car Scan Center can assist based on your unique circumstances. It is important to shop around for the best insurance policy, always ensuring that you read and understand each policy. You may encounter language that suggests using inferior components, which is something that you can raise with the appropriate elected officials in your state.