A few months ago both CNN and KSL published articles addressing a potential issue with insurance companies. In both of these reports, the question was raised: are insurance companies coercing the auto body shops they work with to use cheap, Non-OEM parts and sometimes questionable repair methods?

Since then, I have been asked several times what my thoughts are on this subject. I have decided to take a few minutes and share a few things I have learned based on my experience.

Parts Usage

That old adage “you get what you pay for” is as applicable with an insurance policy as it is with anything else. Most people are only interested in paying the cheapest rates possible but never take the time to read the policy to see what coverage’s they actually purchased. If your insurance company endorses the use of aftermarket parts to repair your vehicle (and most of them do) you will only be paid for aftermarket parts. Whether you realize it or not, you agreed to this when you purchased the policy.

Truthfully, some of these parts are not completely unlike their OEM counterparts. In other cases, they are completely different! After several years in this industry you come to know which parts will work and which ones will not. Either way, we make it a point to exhaust every opportunity to have these parts price-matched by our local dealers. This gives them a chance to make a sale and most often they will be reimbursed by the manufacturer for the cost difference.

So, regardless of what is written in your policy, we will be using the highest quality parts available in restoring your vehicle to pre-collision condition.

Steering Work

“Steering” work is illegal. Almost every insurance company has a Direct Repair Program or “DRP” that they will refer you to. These are shops that the insurance company has verified their credentials and are willing to warranty their repairs.

I have often had customers tell me that an insurance company is “forcing” them to use a specific shop. Telling them that if they don’t use a shop on their network they won’t warranty their repairs or that it may take weeks for them to get an agreed repair price with the shop. The truth is, it’s the shop that will warranty the repairs. Any warranty claims will be taken care of by the shop that performed the original repairs.


In my opinion, I think most shops out there will try their best to do a good job. However, I do recommend that you spend a little time and do some research online. There is such a wide variety of shops in our area. From “Big Box” type, national corporate chains to locally owned and operated, independent shops.Check for well established and reputable shops with good reviews. Check their website, call, or stop by to get a feel for their policies and procedures.

You are always welcome to stop by one of our locations or check us out online if you have any questions.

We look forward to helping in any way we can!