The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)
recently e-mailed a survey to 13 insurance companies to gain a
better understanding of those insurers’ policies on aftermarket parts usage.
"This survey project was motivated by input from our
members and the ongoing discussions stemming from aftermarket replacement
parts," said SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. "We’re
finding that members in different parts of the country are submitting
conflicting reports about the policies of some major national insurance
companies. In other words, we’re hearing that, in some cases, field-level
practices may vary from official corporate policy on parts use. In some cases,
an insurer may have a policy for use of only certified parts, but when a
certified part is unavailable, the shop is instructed to simply select a
non-certified part by the field adjuster.
"It is also possible that, in those cases, some
shops may assume that a non-certified part is what the carrier wants them to
do, and may not realize that the insurer would prefer an OEM replacement part
if the only available alternative is a non-certified part. Knowing what
specific corporate policies exist provides for a better, more transparent
understanding of the approach taken in settling a vehicle owner’s claim.
"We plan to release the results of this research
once we’ve had an opportunity to collect, review and prepare the information
Some of the questions on the survey include:
Is this [written policy regarding the use of aftermarket
replacement parts] specified in your readable auto insurance policy language
provided to your insured?
Do you specify only aftermarket parts which are certified
by a specific agency, company or brand? (Choices include CAPA, NSF, Diamond
Standard, "we do not require any certification" and
If a part is determined to have a defect, and a recall is
warranted, how does your company address this issue with customers that you
have specified the use of the part for?
SCRS requested that the surveys be returned no later than
Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. The insurers that were sent the survey were Allstate, American Family, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Mercury Insurance, Met Life Auto and Home, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, The Hartford, Travelers and USAA.