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So I was rear ended a few weeks back. The person who hit me insurance agrees that it was his fault and will pay for all repairs and a rental. Great, but here is where things go south.

I've never been involved in an accident so I'm new to this. The damage is pretty minor but the rear bumper cover will need to be replaced as there is a tear in it. Geico had me take the car to one of their inspection centers and gave me an estimate for the repairs. The estimate says "Quality Replacement Parts" which means it's not a Subaru part but one made by someone else. It also says that Geico does not have to cover original parts. How can they get away with this? When I bought this car brand new, it was assembled with Subaru parts, not parts from another manufacturer. I didn't ask to get hit and now I have to come away with this with something less than what I had?

Is this something I can fight or demand? It seems these insurance companies have all right to do this.
 

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So I was rear ended a few weeks back. The person who hit me insurance agrees that it was his fault and will pay for all repairs and a rental. Great, but here is where things go south.

I've never been involved in an accident so I'm new to this. The damage is pretty minor but the rear bumper cover will need to be replaced as there is a tear in it. Geico had me take the car to one of their inspection centers and gave me an estimate for the repairs. The estimate says "Quality Replacement Parts" which means it's not a Subaru part but one made by someone else. It also says that Geico does not have to cover original parts. How can they get away with this? When I bought this car brand new, it was assembled with Subaru parts, not parts from another manufacturer. I didn't ask to get hit and now I have to come away with this with something less than what I had?

Is this something I can fight or demand? It seems these insurance companies have all right to do this.
I work for a major insurance company. Most states have laws stating insurance companies can use the most cost effective manner (read aftermarket, quality used OEM/Recycled parts/Remanufactured) to repair the car to pre-loss condition. As long as there is no problem with the fit & trim, it is unlikely there will be a noticeable difference at first, but I have heard of paint cracking later on some aftermarket parts due to adhesive issues. it really does vary from one manufacturer to another. If the fit & trim don't match, you should absolutely demand OEM and take photos documenting the lack of fit and finish. Your only other option is to pay out of pocket for the parts price difference (PPD).

Sorry about your accident. Hope things work out.
 

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it's hard to tell; some aftermarket parts are made by the original equipment supplier but don't have the oe logo. for a newer car this is probably the case.

for older models (that are out of production but still somewhat recent), the oe tooling has been moved to a different supplier, or the oe supplier still has it, and sells a service version (with logo) and an aftermarket version (without logo).

once the service contract has expired it's typically a free-for-all.

since you have a newer subie, i'd guess that your parts are made by the oe supplier but don't have the accompanying logo or warranty.

just a guess though.
 

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Anecdotal now, but some insurance companies allow you to buy additional coverage to assure you get OEM parts during collision repair. I've bought this coverage on mine. If you buy that coverage, you either have to go through your insurance and let them fight the other person's, or make sure the other person's insurance is aware of the additional coverage.

On a 2011, I wouldn't accept anything but OEM parts. In fact, I was recently rear-ended and I thought my adjuster said that my OEM parts coverage didn't matter as there still wasn't an aftermarket cover available. Maybe I heard wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice. I live in NJ.
 

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Get receipts for EVERYTHING done. Make sure you save all these receipts for any future reference, if necessary.

Make it clear that you exclusively want Subaru Parts, and make sure that request is written on the receipt/repair order. That way, down the road, should one of these "quality" parts fail in some way or stop fitting the way they should, you have something to go back to to submit a second claim.
 

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this is simple - the accident wasn't your fault so you can basically get whatever you want. creatively and consistently persuade them. "i'd rather not get a lawyer involved, it seems like it should be simpler than that..." or "my lawyer said this should be easy to figure out without getting him involved"....etc. not threatening, but highly suggestive. they will gladly pay for parts over lawsuit settlements.

It also says that Geico does not have to cover original parts. How can they get away with this?
it's really not that big of a deal. in some cases it matters, but for body parts it doesn't.

*** the far greater concern is paint quality, not the body panel.

When I bought this car brand new, it was assembled with Subaru parts, not parts from another manufacturer.
Subaru sources parts from manufacturers and assembles them. Subaru does not make bumpers or the piece of foam behind the bumper...or tires...or wheels...or stereos..or O2 sensors. the companies that sell to subaru can sell aftermarket parts too. so it very well may be that the aftermarket bumper could be the same company that makes it for Subaru.

in the end, like i said, it's not a big deal. the paint quality is the main concern. automotive finishes..particularly with pliable bumper material...is a highly technical and precise process of preparation, processing, and timing and matching of products...cleaners, mixers, priming, painting, clear coating.

with a car that new i'd prefer a used original OEM factory painted bumper over a local spray job...make sure you get a great painter. if you can find a used one (might be tough), it's likely to be in new condition and wrecked from the opposite side.
 

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this is simple - the accident wasn't your fault so you can basically get whatever you want. creatively and consistently persuade them. "i'd rather not get a lawyer involved, it seems like it should be simpler than that..." or "my lawyer said this should be easy to figure out without getting him involved"....etc. not threatening, but highly suggestive. they will gladly pay for parts over lawsuit settlements.
Unfortunately, with some insurance companies once you throw out the "lawyer card", everything grinds to a halt as their legal department now gets involved. Don't threaten to sue or get an attorney involved if you have no real intention of doing so. It's likely going to create more headaches than it's worth and, frankly, it's not going to impress the $20/hr telephone service representative you're arguing with.
 

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Unfortunately, with some insurance companies once you throw out the "lawyer card", everything grinds to a halt as their legal department now gets involved. Don't threaten to sue or get an attorney involved if you have no real intention of doing so. It's likely going to create more headaches than it's worth and, frankly, it's not going to impress the $20/hr telephone service representative you're arguing with.
right.i'm not suggesting just throwing that "card" out there in the next phone call to be cute. i'm suggesting that's an actual path you can take. they're used to folks thinking they can verbally strong arm, that's not what i mean, just throw it out there to look big. but - a stand up, firm, and well communicated approach you will win every time if the accident wasn't your fault. do a free consultation, over the phone even with a lawyer.

if they stumble...get the best lawyer you can.

a great lawyer will handle everything and cost you nothing and will keep it from "grinding to a halt".

my guess is that a large company like Geico is not going to mess around too much, be firm, and you'll get what you want.

and by all means i'm not recommending be lawyer happy, i'm not a big fan of supporting the litigious condition of this country and so far have never gotten a lawyer for anything except a title attorney to buy property, but that wasn't for a lawsuit. but they do serve some purpose and i'm clear on how i'll use them should i ever need to.
 

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2ND to last paragraph

AUTOINC. ONLINE - Aftermarket Parts Certification from A to Z


"According to Geoff Crane, business development manager, Diamond Standard, “Five states have regulations speaking to the certified quality of automotive aftermarket parts. These states look largely to CAPA and independent lab testing for their certification requirements and have based their laws around those standards. The states of Oregon, New York, Iowa, Hawaii and New Jersey all have state regulations requiring the use of aftermarket parts that are equivalent to the OE parts they replace for collision repairs.” If your business is in one of those states you should familiarize yourself with the regulations."

AND

Filing an Auto Damage Claim with Your Own Insurer

12. Do I have to accept non-OEM parts?
No. While New Jersey regulations do permit the use of after-market parts as long as they are warranted by the manufacturer to be of like kind and quality as OEM parts, you don't have to accept them. The final choice is yours but if the insurer wants to use non-OEM parts and you decide to use more expensive OEM parts, you may have to pay the difference in cost.

The regulations also require the insurer to clearly indicate in writing on the appraisal which parts are after-market parts and pay for any modifications necessary.
 

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right.i'm not suggesting just throwing that "card" out there in the next phone call to be cute. i'm suggesting that's an actual path you can take. they're used to folks thinking they can verbally strong arm, that's not what i mean, just throw it out there to look big. but - a stand up, firm, and well communicated approach you will win every time if the accident wasn't your fault. do a free consultation, over the phone even with a lawyer.

if they stumble...get the best lawyer you can.

a great lawyer will handle everything and cost you nothing and will keep it from "grinding to a halt".

my guess is that a large company like Geico is not going to mess around too much, be firm, and you'll get what you want.

and by all means i'm not recommending be lawyer happy, i'm not a big fan of supporting the litigious condition of this country and so far have never gotten a lawyer for anything except a title attorney to buy property, but that wasn't for a lawsuit. but they do serve some purpose and i'm clear on how i'll use them should i ever need to.
My vehicle my new Outback replaced was hit from behind at a stop light just before I got the new car so I have a just got my check fresh from the round of dealing with this.

I own a small business so I get in scenarios where I have to negotiate whether or not I like it and I do some legal work pro se, other with an attorney. IMO this is the kind of situation where people should be reasonable and negotiate on their own if possible.

Take my advice and negotiate when you can and not make a claim with your carrier when you can avoid it. Be cooperative, respectful and even helpful with all parties involved even if they don't represent your specific interests. The includes the police officer who arrives at the accident and any repair people AND the party at fault. Take notes and photos.

You will most likely be surprised with the results. I was asked by some how I did so well and got all done so fast with this accident that happened about a month ago. It was pretty easy - the discipline I described made it hard for anybody to argue or dispute and easy for all parties to put the problem to bed ASAP.

An associate who takes the war path for much in life was hit weeks before me and now he's complaining about how lawyer's are slowing everything down, and how they won't let him argue with them or anybody else. I know that's the extreme but hope the point is clear.

Full disclosure: None of this takes away the bummer of an accident or guarantees justice. I was not so good about negotiating, acknowledging accidents happen and picking my fights earlier in life.

:)
 

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I was an insurance adjuster in another life, long ago. However, I remember one technique that worked quite well. Just tell the other insurance company, OK, I'll pay extra for the OEM parts but I'll take YOUR insured to small claims court to collect the difference. And, then be prepared to do so by calling the other driver, letting them know and have him/her served with small claims court papers for the additional amount plus your costs. That other driver will SCREAM at his insurance company to settle.
 
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