Modifying Your Car? Better Modify Your Insurance Policy, Too

Posted on: 7 September 2017

Owning a vehicle of any kind can be challenging at time. From the actual cost to purchase and maintain to registration fees and property taxes, the costs can become stressful. Unfortunately, when you own a modified car, costs can become even more overwhelming. A modified vehicle is defined as any vehicle that has been altered or enhanced for its appearance or performance. Insuring a modified vehicle requires a bit more education and understanding. With this guide, you will understand what constitutes a modified vehicle and how to ensure you have effective insurance coverage.

Modified 101

The different modifications you can make to a vehicle are endless. Most people do not even believe these changes or enhancements are defined as a modification. If you have completed one or more of the following, your vehicle will be defined as modified:

  • Chrome rims
  • Chrome bumpers
  • Front and rear spoilers
  • Fog lights and ground lighting
  • Hood ornaments
  • Racing tires
  • Custom doors
  • Engine enhancements
  • Custom paint jobs
  • Anti-roll bars, 4x4 winches
  • Custom sound system

These changes and upgrades may add appeal and value to your vehicle, but they are also costly to replace if you are ever involved in an accident or your vehicle is stolen. Due to this risk, you may require special insurance on a modified vehicle.

Insuring Modified Vehicles

When you purchase a car, your insurance policy will cover the vehicle in its current condition. The existing insurance policy will not cover any modifications you make to the vehicle after purchase.

If you do not notify your insurance agent of these modifications, they will not be covered if you make a claim after an accident or vehicle theft.

Report each modification immediately to your insurance agent to ensure maximum coverage. It is helpful to save any receipts of the work done to your car. This will give your insurance agent a good determination of the vehicle's value if claims are made.

In most cases, adding modifications to an existing insurance policy will increase your premiums. However, the added cost will be a worthwhile investment.

It is important to note that some exclusions apply. Many modifications are done to increase performance. If your vehicle is involved in an accident while racing, most insurers will not cover damage to your vehicle. It is best to discuss your specific coverage with your agent.

Modifying your vehicle offers many benefits, but you must factor in the extra cost needed to insure these changes. To learn more about insuring a modified vehicle, contact your agent today.