The survey was sent last week to Allstate, American Family, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Mercury Insurance, Met Life Auto and Home, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, The Hartford, Travelers and USAA, according to Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS. He said the survey was “an effort to bring further transparency to our understanding of carrier’s approaches to use of aftermarket replacement parts.” The survey was motivated by input from SCRS members and ongoing discussions stemming from aftermarket replacement parts, Schulenburg said.
“We are 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 are 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,” Schulenburg said.
“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,” he continued. “Knowing what specific corporate policies exist, provides for a better, more transparent, understanding of the approach taken in settling a vehicle owners claim. “In the interest of transparency, and with an issue as important as aftermarket parts in structural repair, the SCRS board of directors felt that it would be worth our efforts to conduct this study, and share the results with the industry.”