Why Does My Insurance Company Want to Put Used Parts On My Car?

So, you have been in an accident and you are at the point that your claims adjuster is telling you the amount that will be paid for the damage to your car. Hopefully, you have been given a copy of your estimate and have reviewed the appraisal yourself. However, you are confused as to the comments on the estimate in regards to replacing parts on your vehicle. There may be comments to the effect of "used parts"and "LKQ" (Like, Kind and Quality- English translation USED) or other references that may cause you confusion.

First, and foremost, never be afraid to ask questions. If you are presenting a claim on your own policy, your insurance company is obligated to explain the coverages and the claims process to you. So, fire away. ( Please, not literally. Many of us adjuster have been physically confronted with just that situation)

The utilization of used parts to replace damaged parts is a common practice in the Insurance Industry. Of course, you may scream "foul" because you are of the opinion that you do not want used parts on your 2004 Toyota Corolla. Unfortunately, most polices are written in such a way that your insurance company has the right to utilize such parts. However a more common theme is this simple fact:

If I remove the damaged fender from your vehicle, what year is that fender and how many years has that fender been on your car? The fender that was damaged in the accident is currently 6 years old (count the year that the auto was manufactured in- remember we usually buy cars very early in the year and that car was also produced even earlier than your purchase date) So, if the fender removed from your car is over 6 years old and your company is offering to replace that fender with a fender that is 6 years old (the used one), how is this in any way cheating you or placing you in a worse position than you were prior to the loss?

Typically, you policy, or better yet, the entire concept of insurance is to "put you back the way you were just one second prior to the loss" Most policies contain language that support that concept. The policy owes the lessor of repairs or the Actual Cash Value of the damaged property.(again, translation value on the date that the auto was damaged not the cost to replace new)

You may have an argument if your cars is a year or less in age or in some states there is coverage available to repair with new parts or to replace with a new vehicle provided you have paid the additional premium for the endorsement. The major condition is that your vehicle is a year or newer in age.

I hope this has been helpful and you will note that I will always encourage you to read your policy so that you will have a better understanding of your coverage and the knowledge to discuss any issues with your Insurance Company.


Comments 2 comments

Bronco 5 years ago

Another thing to consider is that this practice is more environmentally friendly than using newly manufactured parts. Rather than spending unnecessary energy and materials on making a new part, repair facilities can reduce waste and use a part that has already been made, thereby reducing your "carbon footprint." Secondly, the quality of the part is almost never an issue. Insurance companies and repair facilities don't want to utilize a part that is flawed in any way, as it only requires mor labor and materials to return it to an acceptable condition. Remember, most all recycled parts are still OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and will have the same quality and fitment as an off-the-shelf factory part, so you get a part made by the vehicle's manufacturer in most cases at a reduced cost and you eliminate waste, helping reduce our impact on the environment. What's not to like?


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choxter 5 years ago Author

I absolutely agree with you on the impact tothe environment. Unfortunately, people are very concerned as to the damages to their car and the possiblity of somehow/someway being cheated in the overall process. You are correct as to the fit, as well. Thank you for your comments.

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