A lot of people like to put their own personal touches to their vehicles. They may do so by making modifications to the vehicle. What they may not realize is that by doing this their insurance premiums may go up.
Does Modifying A Car Increase Insurance?
It can in many cases.
Two major ways that modifications can affect your insurance is if it:
- The modification is going to have any impact on the safety of the vehicle and the way it performs.
- It affects the value of the vehicle.
Insurance companies use many different metrics when coming to a conclusion as to what to set for premiums.
One of these metrics is based on the make and model of the vehicle being insured. Insurance companies will scrutinize the safety ratings of vehicles which can affect the cost of the premiums.
Another metric is the value of the car. This is important because they need to know what the repairs could cost for a specific vehicle or what it would cost to replace it.
Some modifications can affect either or both of these metrics.
How Much Does Modified Car Insurance Cost?
Depends on the type of modification.
Some data shows that modifications to a car can increase the premiums by 39%. It will all depend on the type of modification and the specific insurance company.
What Modifications Do I Need To Tell Insurance?
Any modification that increases the risk for the insurance company.
This means you need to know what constitutes a risk for the insurance company. In general, any change you make to your vehicle should be told to your insurance company. It is better to be safe rather than sorry. Meaning that if you fail to notify your insurance company of your modifications it could void your insurance.
What Are Considered To Be Modifications?
- Any changes made to the engine of the vehicle
- Suspension lowering
- Alterations to the seats
- Any modification to the brake system
- Coloured lights
- Alterations to the transmission
- Tinting the windows
Notification Prior To Changes
It is important to inform your insurance company about the proposed modifications that you are planning. This way they will:
- Inform you as to whether they will continue coverage
- Give you a quote as to the increase in your premiums
- Notify you as to whether the modifications you are planning are legally allowed
Not notifying your Insurance company about any changes you are making to your vehicle could mean that they will not honor your original policy. If you were to get into an accident and it was found out that you made modifications without notifying them then they could void the claim.
Staying Within The Law
Every province has specific laws when it comes to what modifications can legally be made to a vehicle. If one is done that is not permitted by law then it will be impossible to get insurance.
Does Respraying A Car Affect Insurance?
Most often no but it could.
Some individuals are under the impression that even the color of their vehicle is going to affect their premiums. This is a myth. Insurance companies do not focus on the actual color of the car. Therefore if you are thinking about respraying your vehicle this is not a modification that is going to affect your insurance.
What could affect the premiums is if the respraying included detailing that upped the value of the vehicle. The insurance company looks at the possibility of having to replace this if the car were damaged.
Is Modifying A Car Worth It?
It depends on the purpose of the modification.
People carry out modifications on their vehicles for a variety of different reasons. Some do it just for the challenge and having something out of the norm for their vehicle. Others do it for practical reasons. For example, they may have the suspension altered to provide them with a better ride. Others may have their windows tinted because they are sensitive to the sun.
Categories of Modifications
Making it More Accessible
There are people who have disabilities who need to make modifications to their vehicles to allow them to access them more easily. The modification itself should not change the coverage. But, there are some modifications in this category that increase the value of the vehicle. In this case, it will probably affect the premiums.
Cosmetic Purposes and Enhancing Performance
Cosmetic enhancements are not likely to affect performance. However, again it could increase the value of the car. A metric that your insurance company is going to take into account.
For performance modifications, these are carefully scrutinized by insurance companies. If they are not going to affect the safety factors and the modifications are not increasing the value by too much, then the Insurance company may accept them with no increase in premiums.
Whether the modification is worth it is going to come down to the reasons and whether it justifies the increase in the premiums that are likely going to take place.
Shopping for Insurance To Cover Modifications
Not every insurance company is keen on providing insurance for modified vehicles. You may find that when you inform your present insurance company what you want to do that they will no longer want to. Or you may feel that they are increasing the premiums too much. In either case, you may want to do some insurance shopping.
There are insurance companies that do well for clients with vehicle modifications. The best approach is to use a service that will get quotes for you based on your requirements. This will save you a lot of time and possibly money too. They will be able to give you several quotes which provide you with some good options.
You will be able to use this information to determine whether it’s really worth doing the modifications as you will have some price ranges as to what the insurance is going to cost you.