Insurance Adjuster Question

My wife’s car was recently rear-ended. The other driver took full responsibility so she’s supposed to meet with his insurance adjuster to check the damage. If the adjuster determines that she needs a new rear bumper how can we be sure that it’s an original part and not a cheaper after-market product? Does she have a right to insist on this?

You wife takes the car to whom ever she wants to to get it fixed…That includes the dealer (who will only use new parts).

When you get in a accident…YOU take your car to 2-3 body shops to get written estimates BEFORE their adjuster looks at the car. Adjusters will ALWAYS low-ball. Use these estimates to negotiate with the Adjuster. You do NOT have to take what the Adjuster says the damage is. This is fully negotiable.

If the car is fairly new (1-4 years old) then getting new parts shouldn’t be a problem. If the car is older then getting new parts may put the cost of repair higher then what the car is worth.

You can also take a your car to a body shop that has an arrangement or is certified with your insurance company. In such cases an adjuster from the insurance company isn’t needed. The body shop handles everything. The shop I worked for years ago had worked with Erie and State Farm in a similar manner, and almost never used non-OEM parts when the insurance companies were paying for repairs.

it’s highly unlikely that you need to worry about it being an “aftermarket” bumper. The more likely scenario is going to be a choice between new and used OEM parts. Unless your vehicle is brand new, there’s a good chance they will first try to locate used parts in like new condition. Those parts can be refurbished and you’ll never know the difference. The legal issue you’re faced with is you had a used vehicle that was damaged. You have a right to made whole but not end up better off. Such would be the case with brand new parts. If you’re lucky, they won’t find any suitable used parts and then they end up using brand new parts.

Howdy poor public they do not understand- the other driver only owes the depreciated value of the bumper not a new one. I do not think you can locate any auto appraiser whom can tell you the reduced value of a after market part verses an original manufacturer part. Hope you can locate a great used on that is the same color or oppsee it will not have the factory finish but some after market paint will be applied just glad no one hurt…

Murray50, first, the adjuster is not coming out to inspect the car. The appraiser will come out and write the estimate.

  1. you did not include the insurance company taking responsibilty. Different carriers use different guidelines to determine which parts to use so post back with the insurance company paying.

  2. you did not include the year of your vehicle or the miles. These are important determining factors in regards to what gets installed. Example, insurance company A says if the vehicle is less than 1 yr old AND less than 10,000 miles nothing but OEM gets installed. If not then reman or new aftermarket or LKQ/used gets used.

  3. if you have time go to the shop you want to do the work and get an estimate from them. YOU DO NOT need to go get any additional estimates, its a waste of your time and hardly any carrier nowadays tells vehicle owners to do that.

  4. if the appraiser suggests you go to a certain shop respectfully tell him no and inform him what shop you will be using and tell him to forward the estimate to that shop. The shop needs that estimate since they will be going off of what the appraiser writes. Any hidden related damage will be paid for byt the insurance comp but that could add time for completion since the appraiser might need to come back out and reinspect.

  5. appraisers do not always low ball a repair as mikeinnh suggested. I have seen several of thier estimates higher than a shops estimate. Actually i have written higher than shops in the past. insurance carriers are more honest and customer oriented than in the past and if if you are honest and customer oriented up front that saves money and reputations in the long run.

  6. respectfully insist that oem be used but keep in the back of your mind that just because you want it it may not happen. since you are the claimant you have a little more clout or power but dont bet your life on it.

  7. just because you go to a dealer that does not mean oem will be used. dealers use aftermarket/reman/lkq all the time. they are not in the drivers seat.

  8. post back with the insurance company paying, the year of your toy highlander and the miles.

  9. make sure the appraiser writes for the prevailing labor rate in the area. that means to be sure the estimate has the same hourly rates and tax rate as the body shop you want to use. in my area we write $50 for body and $30 for paint and material. if the appraiser writes for 48 and 28 then you might be responsible for the difference. do not expect the shop to drop thier rates since they may not be able to. there are ways to work around it but the insurance comp should write for the correct labor rate for the area.