In the 1973 American made-for-television horror film loosely based on the novel Frankenstein, word reached Doctor Henry Clerval that several young peasant men had been killed in a mine collapse. Soon after their burial the doctors quickly dig up the bodies and stitch together a human. The night before the creation, however, Clerval discovers that a reanimated arm set aside for weeks during the construction of the lab has become diseased, unsightly and deformed.

If you’ve been in an accident you’re most likely driving something similar to Henry Clerval’s creation. While your car may be “alive” it isn’t the same as before your accident.

What is a franken-car?

Most insurance agencies and repair shops want to save money. Rather than replacing your damaged parts with original manufactured pieces, they’ll find cheap substitutes and replace your original parts with off-brand pieces. The result is a car that is pieced together with several different brands and substitutes.

Do substitute part even make a difference?

Yes. Off-brand parts are usually lower-quality thus justifying their low cost. Why would you pay a monthly insurance premium without expecting premium coverage and repairs? It’s not your responsibility to save insurance companies money.

What can you do?

If you’ve been in an accident you’ll have the option to pick your own repair shop. All repair shops are not created equal. Before submitting your damaged vehicle to the shop ask them if they replace parts with refurbished or substitute pieces. If they do, walk away. Remember you’re paying a monthly car insurance premium to insure your vehicle. Don’t settle for less just so your insurance agency can make a buck or two. Talk to your repair shop and be specific. Tell them you won’t settle for anything less than original parts. If they refuse take your business elsewhere.