"The difference is that the OEM’s part will have the OE’s badge. While the 'branded' parts will carry the manufacturers brand. In other cases the parts are made by a third party at the specifications set, including quality," explains South Africa Insurance Association's General Manager of Insurance Risks, Nico Esterhuizen.
"The purpose of insurance is one of indemnification and not enrichment. Most insurers would strive to put the customer in the position they were in before they suffered a loss," explains Esterhuizen.The Insurance Ombudsman, Mr. Brian Martin, makes a point of mentioning that the cost of vehicle repairs are at a steady increase.
"If premiums are to be kept at reasonable levels and increases in premiums within similar bounds, it is imperative that everything possible be done to keep repair costs down, but at the same time without compromising safety or quality standards."Esterhuizen emphasizes the importance of quality parts in damaged vehicles. He says that all after market and used parts have to undergo a quality test. This is to ensure that it matches up to the quality standards of new parts of its kind.
"If it is economical to repair them [vehicles], insurers are obliged to use original factory supplied parts where the warranty or maintenance plan of a vehicle is still active," says Esterhuizen.Although this is the rule, you might never know what parts they are putting in your vehicle. It's advisable to request a quote of all the parts fitted. This is to ensure that you are getting what they claim to be providing.
"Most policies do state that the onus rests upon the insurer to either repair, replace or pay cash. Therefore, the use of after-market parts is also used as a cost saving measure," adds Esterhuizen.You are encouraged however, to request to see a quality certification for the parts that are being fitted before they are fitted. Basically, if the cost of the parts are expensive to repair then your premium will increase. Insurers believe that they are doing the client a service by making the repairs cheaper. If you feel uncomfortable about where your insurer wants you to take your vehicle, find a dealership that specializes in your vehicle's brand. That way, you can feel fairly confident with the products that you are receiving.