Do I have to accept after-market parts from the at-fault driver’s insurance company?

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Do I have to accept after-market parts from the at-fault driver’s insurance company?

I just bought a car a little less than a month ago and it was hit while parked. Now I’ve already had the at-fault driver’s insurer give an estimate and an uncashed check. The estimate is for after-market like parts. Do I have to settle for these or can I fight for original parts? If so, how? My car is an 08.

Asked on June 4, 2011 under Accident Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The insurer's obligation is to repair the car--to put it back into good working order, and ideally repair it so that  it's as close to its pre-accident value as possible. (A repaired car is never worth quite as much.) It may do so with after-market parts, IF such parts will do the job; i.e. they will adaquately repair the vehicle. There is no specific law or requirement for original parts.

If you don't think that you car will be repaired adequately, which is the real issue, you may try to appeal using the insurer's own in-house appeals process and/or by hiring a lawyer to, if necessary, sue the insurer. (You may also sue yourself, but this is not recommended.) You should review your policy to see what it says about disputes, appeals, etc. Note that if the policy says somewhere that only original parts will be used, then that would have to be honored.


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