Insurance for Modified Cars
Last Updated on May 15, 2021
When you make modifications to your car, you might want to notify your car insurance company. There are a lot of ways that you can modify your car. If you want to make sure that damages or replacement of your modifications are covered, you should notify your car insurance company. Car insurance companies base your premiums and coverage on the vehicle as it was when it rolled off the line. Different modifications can have different levels of impact on your coverage. Learn more about your car insurance with modifications.
Do You Have to Tell Them?
You do not have to tell your car insurance company about the modifications you make to your vehicle. However, if you do not notify them, the modifications will not be covered if something happens to your car. For example, if you modify your car to have a custom grille and you are in an accident that damages it, your car insurance company is only going to pay the amount it would cost to replace the original grille if you have not notified them of the modification. In addition, some modifications can actually lower your premiums.
Modifications that Lower Premiums
Some modifications will actually result in lower premiums if you tell your car insurance company about them. For example, anti-theft devices or systems, anti-lock brakes, airbags, or restraints that were not included on the base model, backup cameras, and other safety features can all lower your car insurance premiums. It is best to tell your car insurance company as soon as you make these modifications so that you will be able to take advantage of the lower rates.
Modifications that Raise Premiums
There are also some modifications that raise your premium. If you put performance parts on your car to make it go faster, take turns harder, or brake harder, you might have to pay more for car insurance if you tell your car insurance company about them. If you tint your windows or do any other cosmetic modifications, you might also experience a hike in your insurance premiums. Remember, you are not obligated to tell your car insurance company about modifications, but if something happens to your vehicle and they learn that you had performance parts on your car it could result in not getting enough of a payout to fix your car back to the way it was before the accident. In addition, the car insurance company could deny your claim altogether.
Getting Modifications Covered
There are several different ways that you can get your modifications covered on your car insurance. When you talk to your car insurance company, you will want to let them know about the modifications, including all the specifications and whether or not it makes the car safer to drive. The car insurance company may simply increase your coverage amounts. However, most often you will have to purchase additional coverage for your modifications.
Most often when you modify your car you will have to purchase additional coverage for your vehicle called a special equipment rider or endorsement. This endorsement is often called Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage (CPE). This additional coverage will cover damages or replacement of your modified parts. Your car insurance agent should be able to help you get this coverage, although some car insurance companies do not cover modified cars at all. If that is the case, you’ll need to shop around for car insurance that meets your needs.
Some car insurance policies allow for a special equipment rider as part of the base policy. This is most often the case when you have a classic car or a luxury car, both of which are often modified. However, not all car insurance companies provide this coverage. It is important that you check your policy documents and talk to your car insurance company to make sure that your modifications will be covered. If not, you’ll need to shop around for different coverage.
One final option is to purchase additional coverage for your vehicle from another insurance company. You might want to keep your base coverage with your current company, but get a special equipment rider from another company. This will sometimes work if your current car insurance company doesn’t want to cover the modifications. However, your car insurance company could deny your coverage entirely for a modified car, so it is often best to just be straightforward about your modifications and get full coverage from a company that has no problems covering the modifications.
Final Word on Insurance for Modified Vehicles
If you are modifying your car in the near future, talk to your car insurance company now about the modifications you are proposing. Your agent should be able to tell you if the modifications will be covered or not and how much more it will cost you in premiums to cover the modifications. From there you can decide if you need to go ahead and shop around for new coverage.