Insurance Claims.

Insurance & Collision Repair

Like it or not, your insurance company probably has the greatest influence on how your vehicle is repaired.

Most insurance policies require that the vehicle be returned to “pre-accident” condition*. Exactly what that means isn’t always clear, but it certainly means more than looking like it used to from a few feet way.

Like parts, not all insurance is the same. If your policy doesn’t specify OE parts, your insurance company may require the use of a specific amount of “non-original” parts—parts that may not have been crash or performance tested, particularly with your vehicle’s systems, and may not meet your vehicle manufacturer’s safety, quality and performance standards.

Two out of three repair shops say the driving force behind parts decisions is not what they prefer, not what their customers prefer, or what makes the best quality repair—it’s the insurance company guidelines!**

If you aren’t involved, ask questions, and know your rights  probably not going to get the original equipment parts you expect—it’s that simple.

And a repair with anything other than original equipment parts, and manufacturer recommended repair procedures, may compromise the safety, structural integrity and vehicle systems of your vehicle, as well as the finish, performance, durability and value.

Who is ‘at fault’?

Determining who is “at fault” in an accident, and therefore has the primary financial responsibility for the damages, can be a complex but important issue.

In most states, the insurance company will try to determine who was responsible for the accident. The “at fault” driver’s insurance company pays for repairs to the vehicle, property damage and injured parties.***

“No-Fault” Insurance means that the insurance company for each party takes responsibility for their own policyholders, regardless of who caused the accident.*

There are currently 12 states† in the US that have some version of no-fault insurance.

  • DRPs

    A DRP (Direct Repair Provider) has a special, contractual relationship with an insurer. While many quality shops have DRP relationships, and they may add convenience, that can also affect how the vehicle is repaired, and which parts are used. Many insurers have specific requirements, or quotas, requiring that a percentage of alternative “Non-Original” parts be used.


    An insurer may recommend shops in a DRP program, but can not require that you use them. “Steering” is illegal in most states. Owners have the right to have their vehicle repaired at a shop they choose!


    Many states also have specific legal requirements that the type of parts used be disclosed on the repair estimate or invoice. Make sure you ask or check to see what is on your estimate.

If You’re Not at Fault

You don’t have a contractual agreement with the other party’s insurer. You’re entitled to have your vehicle returned to pre-accident condition.

When they are at fault, you don’t have to accept anything less than OE parts.

You aren’t required to accept their repair valuation, either. As long as the costs are reasonable, you have control over the repair of your vehicle, including the parts used.