Consumer Reports again reminds car owners to avoid aftermarket parts
In a post-Labor Day news release, ConsumerReports.org is once again reminding consumers how to avoid a claims-related problem should they be unlucky enough to have been involved in one of the estimated 75,000 to 100,000 auto insurance claims that will be filed as a result of the holiday weekend.
‘In our most recent surveys,’ the organization said, ’10 to 26 percent of filers encountered a claims-related problem, depending on the carrier. So it pays to know the right procedures for filing a claim and how to deal with any glitches you might encounter.
According to the release, ‘Picking a top-rated insurer is also key to controlling your costs. An insurer can charge less in premiums but cost you more overall by lowballing loss estimates, forcing the repair shop to cut corners, and making you pay extra for the manufacturer’s replacement parts if you choose them over cheaper knockoffs.’
The group suggests that consumers turn to the Consumer Reports Car Insurance Buying Guide and their Guide to Insurance Claims for advice on how to ‘get your due’ from car insurance policies.
In the April 2012 Consumer Reports Money Adviser, the group warns, ‘You might be pressured to take your car to a shop in the insurer’s direct-repair program or to use cheaper replacement parts instead of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. You’re under no obligation to accept either. Tests have found that some non-OEM parts fit poorly, are more prone to rust and corrosion, and might not meet federal safety standards.’
Consumer Reports notes in its Car Insurance Buying Guide that, based on its surveys, respondents’ satisfaction with repairs was significantly lower among those who felt pressured to use DRP shops and non-OEM parts. And respondents who said they were pressured to use non-OEM parts had significantly more problems with their repairs.
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