The III also says that existing laws protect policyholders with generic parts. Most states permit the use of aftermarket components as long as they are warranted by the manufacturer "to be of like kind and quality as OEM parts," according to the III.
Aftermarket parts, customization and car insuranceAftermarket parts are significant beyond the repair industry. They also figure prominently in the customization of many vehicles, which raises another question: How do you make sure your insurance covers a car once it's been altered? Here are how different types of car insurance cover aftermarket parts, both in repairs and customizing: Collision and comprehensive is needed to fix or replace your car after a crash. If you only have a liability policy, which helps protect you from lawsuits following an accident and pays only for damage to other cars, you won't be able to depend on your policy to repair or replace your own vehicle. Collision coverage fixes your car if you hit another car or object or someone uninsured hits you. Comprehensive covers damages related to theft, vandalism, natural disasters or collisions with animals. You'll need policies with these basic provisions for repairs, whether aftermarket or OEM parts are used. Open your wallet if you don't want the vehicle fixed with generic parts. Although many insurers use aftermarket parts, not all do. Barry and the III suggest discussing policy details with your agent to find out just what will happen after a mishap. If your coverage stipulates that aftermarket parts can be used, then you'll likely have to pay extra for the OEM components. But keep in mind that, according to Barry, insurers guarantee aftermarket parts. "If the part doesn't fit properly, the insurance company will generally put on an OEM part at no extra cost," he says. The III notes that some insurers offer a choice between OEM and generic parts as part of an "endorsement," which is an addition to the original policy. This will likely raise your premiums. The III also points out that insurers are required to declare which OEM and aftermarket parts, if any, will figure in repairs.
Consider special coverage if you customize with aftermarket parts.Customized parts and equipment coverage, known as CPE, is an endorsement to your existing policy that protects any equipment, devices, accessories, enhancements and changes that alter the appearance or performance of your vehicle. In other words, everything other than what the original manufacturer installed. You can buy the extra coverage, which in many cases provides a limit of $5,000 in protection. Some insurers have lower limits; Esurance, for instance, sets its limit at $4,000. Although the endorsement is separate from your collision and comprehensive coverage, it may still be subject to the same deductibles. A CPE endorsement can be crafted to reflect your own needs, but, in general, it covers customized wheels, paint jobs and leather interiors, spoilers and stereo equipment.