Genuine vs. OEM vs. aftermarket parts | finder.com
Car insurance and genuine car parts

Car insurance and genuine car parts

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Are genuine parts really all they’re cracked up to be?

After an accident, your car might need replacement parts to repair it. Whether those parts come directly from the original manufacturer or an aftermarket manufacturer will depend on your insurer. The only difference between a genuine or original part and an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) replacement part is the name on the package, but many insurance companies won’t fork out the cash for original or OEM parts after a crash.

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Compare insurance to find OEM-guaranteed repairs

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Available states
Optional
Yes, cars under 3 years old & 15,000 miles
All 50 states
Save up to 31% with safe driver discounts and bundling all your rides in one convenient policy.
Included free
Yes, cars under 2 years old
All 50 states
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA, WA
Drive less than 30 miles a day? Save on the coverage you need with pay-per-mile insurance from Metromile. Get a low monthly rate then pay just a few cents per mile. Available in AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA and WA.
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All 50 states
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
Included free
No
AZ, AR, DE, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, MI, MS, MT, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, TX, UT
Root offers simple, affordable insurance that’s ideal for good drivers. Try the Root app for 2 weeks and see how much you could save. Available in 20 states.
Included free
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All states except AK, DE, HI, MT, NH, VT, WY
Esurance offers a modern online and mobile experience that helps you take your insurance on the go. Available in 42 states.
Included free
Yes, cars under 2 years old
All 50 states
Backed by nearly 100 years in the business, Farmers Insurance aims to offer options and support to help you find the coverage you need.
Optional
No
All states except Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey
The General offers affordable coverage for nearly any driver who needs car insurance.
Optional
Not specified
IL, IN, MD, TN, TX, VA
Elephant Insurance offers low-cost auto insurance with big discounts. Breaking from the national herd could save up to 40% off your current car insurance.
Included free
No
AZ, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA
Known for providing insurance to high-risk customers who may have trouble finding coverage elsewhere, SafeAuto offers a lot of different discounts, from those for homeowners to good drivers.
Optional
No
AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, MO, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA
Discounts, flexible payments and a life coach that guides you to your best rates and coverage with Direct car insurance.
Optional
No
CO, DE, ID, IA, MD, MS, NE, NV, OH, TN, WA
Connects high-risk drivers to providers in its network offering affordable policies
Optional
No
All states except AK, LA, GA, HI, MA, MI, MT, NH, NJ, NY, ND, OK, RI
Dairyland offers auto insurance with flexible payment and coverage options for high-risk drivers in 37 states.

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Differences between car parts: OEM vs genuine vs aftermarket

There are a number of options when it comes to purchasing parts for your motor vehicle.

  • Genuine (or original equipment). Genuine parts are what automakers use at the factory when building a car and are the most expensive on the market. The packaging will usually carry the manufacturers’ branding, though in some cases, a sister company may supply the part.
  • OEM or original equipment manufacturer. Car manufacturers do not produce every single vehicle component. A company employed by the original manufacturer to produce these parts is the OEM.
    OEM parts makers often sell components under their own name and branding. These items are identical to genuine parts but present a substantial cost saving.
  • Aftermarket. Aftermarket parts are those not produced by or connected with the manufacturer. Aftermarket producers may also design and manufacture upgraded performance parts that exceed the operation and standards of an original part.

What about replacement part condition?

In addition to new parts, whether genuine/original to your car, OEM or aftermarket, you can also find different used parts.

  • Refurbished/reconditioned. It’s possible to purchase genuine, OEM or aftermarket refurbished components. The best ones go through a quality inspection and rebuild process. Common refurbished parts include big-ticket items like engines, turbochargers, gearboxes and steering boxes/racks. It’s important to check to see what kind of guarantee comes with these components.
  • Used/salvaged. In an effort to cut costs, some workshops may fit used parts, such as those taken from a junkyard. For older or classic cars, these may be the only option. Used parts can offer a substantial saving, but it can be difficult to determine their source.
  • Counterfeit reproduction. You should never under any circumstances purchase spurious copied parts. The quality levels of these parts can vary wildly — to the point of being unsafe. Knockoff part makers may use lower-quality materials and even try to pass them off as OEM.

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Which parts will my insurer use?

You can find out which components your insurer will use to repair your car in your insurance policy. Most insurance policies will use aftermarket parts to repair your car. If you want to make sure you’ll get OEM or genuine parts if you get into an accident, check with your insurer before purchasing a policy and make sure to get that in writing in your policy.

Do I need genuine parts?

No. OEM parts are exactly the same as original parts, and the only difference is the name on the package. OEM parts are still made by the same manufacturer, but they might not have, say, the Toyota logo on the part. It doesn’t make the part any less effective.

In many cases, aftermarket parts can also work just as well as OEM parts, but they don’t always fit perfectly, so they often need to be adjusted by a mechanic. You also want to make sure that you’re getting a high quality aftermarket piece. Most reputable mechanics will only buy from manufacturers they trust, but it’s a good idea to check where your parts are coming from.

If you have a new car, it may be more important to get OEM parts. If an aftermarket part causes a failure in your vehicle, it won’t be covered by your warranty.

Getting the best replacement parts

If your car needs a replacement part, it’s up to you to make sure you’re purchasing a quality part.

  • Use common sense. If a component sells for $500 from the dealer and $400 as an OEM-branded part but sells for $100 online, ask yourself why. The $100 is suspiciously cheap.
  • Only purchase from trusted sellers with good reputations. Sellers outside of the US may not adhere to the same level of consumer rights regulations.
  • Ask your repair shop for an itemized invoice including parts numbers. Most garages are willing to do this, and it allows you to check up on where each part comes from.
  • If you add performance-modifying parts, tell your insurer. Failing to do so can invalidate your policy in the event of a claim. Some alterations are only covered under specialized policies, including:
  • Nitro or hydrogen injection systems
  • Custom paintwork
  • Turbocharged or supercharged engines
  • Racing harnesses
  • Roll bars
  • Roll cages

Bottom line

It’s in your insurer’s best interest to pay for parts that work and are safe, but as the owner it’s up to you to check that your mechanic is ordering parts you’re comfortable having in your car. If you’re concerned, check with your car insurance company to find out what parts they’ll cover in a crash.

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Frequently asked questions

Roslyn McKenna

As the car insurance publisher for finder.com, Roslyn McKenna is driven to help people get a great deal on car insurance so they can enjoy the ride. Roslyn has put her Bachelor of Arts in Writing and Communications to good use by covering topics ranging from finance to insurance. As a former blog manager for PetSafe, she has a love for everything furry and nerdy. When she’s not researching car insurance discounts to share with readers, she’s busy planning her next trip with latte in hand and cat in lap.

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