Many people get a little nervous when they hear their car is being fixed with aftermarket parts following an accident. Insurance companies often insist on these generic parts, which are made by independent suppliers and tend to be cheaper than those distributed by the vehicle's manufacturer. Insurers save money at the garage and body shop, which they say is passed on to you and others through lower premiums. The insurer will probably require you to pay the difference in the cost of the components if you demand that only original-equipment manufacturers (OEM) items be used in all or some of the repairs. "Your insurance company can't require you to use only certain kinds of auto repair parts," says Michael Barry, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute (III). "However, if the company's rates are based on a certain type of part and you want something different, it can ask you to pay the difference if the part you want is more expensive." The worry has always been about the quality of aftermarket parts -- are they as good as OEM components? California-based Consumer Watchdog is just one of the advocacy groups that says they aren't always as well made and has lobbied for more government oversight. And earlier this year, Consumer Reports questioned aftermarket bumpers and other body parts, which are often replaced after a crash. While conceding that they can trim costs for car owners and insurers, Consumer Reports concluded that "unfortunately, the parts (many made overseas) might also be cheaper in quality." But the Quality Parts Coalition (QPC), which represents the independent parts industry and insurers, among other interests, says the components are at least as dependable as OEM parts. They keep costs lower for consumers and insurers by preventing price-gouging by the big manufacturers. Ed Salamy, the QPC's executive director, points to a new QPC report contending that most aftermarket parts the coalition scrutinized were, on average, 29 percent cheaper than OEM parts and saved consumers $80 million since 2009.