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Auto Manufacturer Parts versus After-Market Parts

Mercedes_1_2 I always try and throw in a true story every now and then to keep things interesting. I was out at Glen Oaks for a golf tournament - watching, not playing, of course.  The day had started to wind down and I was walking back to a friend’s house where I had parked.

It was hard not to notice this beautiful, white 2006 Mercedes Benz CLK Class convertible parked at the very bottom of one of the driveways I passed.  Now, the cost for this vehicle is somewhere between $54k and $83k.  A small car but not a small price tag!

As I walked by, I heard loud music and the engine of some supped up, jacked up truck. The very young driver of this pickup started backing down the driveway when all the sudden I heard what sounded like a tin can crumpling in someone’s hand. 

The truck had struck the Benz and was hung up.  The driver - not knowing what had happened - began to give it a little gas. That's when I saw the entire front quarter panel on the driver's side of the Mercedes peeled back like a banana. 

The driver - still hung up - must have thought it would now be better to go forward. His pickup was too high and so he couldn't see the little convertible that he was hung up on.  It was like an electric can opener magnetically taking the lid off of a can of green beans.  I could see clear inside the car. May I remind you of the $83,000? 

What should the insurance carrier use to fix the car?

The controversy is this: does the insurance company use original equipment (OEM) or after market (non-OEM) parts.  How would you feel about your expensive little Mercedes getting after market parts on it?  Is a replacement headlight OK?  What about the hood or front quarter panel?  This is a huge on-going debate.  Check out this article and read more about this ongoing debate.

If you think you know what your auto insurance covers - whether personal or business - take another look. And ask some questions.

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