Everyone loves something that is personally customized. For some people, that includes their car. Have you altered your car in any way? Maybe you bought expensive equipment for your car recently. Unfortunately, these types of modifications can be vandalized or stolen. If you’ve added custom parts to your car, you should be aware they’re probably not covered by your standard Auto Insurance. Read on to learn more.
Do Your Custom Parts Need Additional Coverage?
Before altering your car in any way, make sure you understand what’s covered by your Auto Insurance policy. Custom parts added to your vehicle may not be covered by standard Car Insurance. Most importantly, never assume anything. Car modifications, especially after-market ones, won’t be automatically covered. Most policies only cover the car as it was originally built by the manufacturer. The only way to ensure your custom parts are covered is to call your agent. It’s best to do this before you make any modifications to your vehicle.
Car alterations or custom parts that require additional Auto Insurance coverage include the following:
- Sports modifications to improve the car’s aerodynamics (e.g. spoilers)
- Mobility modifications to allow a disabled individual to be put into, or even drive the car (i.e. wheelchair access)
- Backseat televisions, video game systems and new technologies to entertain passengers or to stay connected to the Internet
So, what happens if your car is stolen, and with it, the thousands of dollars of after-market equipment that has been installed? Hopefully, you had endorsements on your policy to cover the costs. Call an AIS Insurance Specialist at (855) 919-4247 to learn more and pay less.
Custom Parts & Modifications Mean Higher Risk
Some engine modifications and other additions designed to increase speed and performance may substantially raise your premiums. They could even result in a cancellation or non-renewal due to the fact that they make your car more dangerous to drive. Ask any insurance agent, and they’ll tell you that speed kills. Auto Insurance is about protecting you against risk. Making your car more dangerous by adding custom parts means you’re exposing yourself and your insurer to much greater risk.
Cosmetic and functional alterations, on the other hand, are a different matter. In these cases, the concern is less about the safety of yourself and others. In fact, it’s more about how the value of the car changes. For example, a wheelchair lift installed into a vehicle can substantially raise the car’s value. This is due to the cost of the lift itself and because the car will hold more resale value over time. It’s not uncommon for vehicles with mobility modifications to be a higher price on the used car market.
Modifying Your Car Insurance
When you modify your car, you most likely need to modify your Car Insurance, as well. Typically, there are some modifications your agent may recommend. Let’s say you decide to install a Tracking device in your car. This may actually lower your Auto Insurance rates. This is because it will reduce the chance of successful car theft. Plus, your car will be easier to recover if it is stolen. That means your insurer is at less risk for paying out on an expensive claim.
On the other hand, some modifications might not impact your Car Insurance rates at all. If you decide to put a spoiler on the back of your car you should let your insurer know. However, it may not have any impact on your car’s value or performance. Therefore, your insurance rates may remain the same.
In the end, how much the customization alters your Auto Insurance depends heavily on both your insurer and what you’re adding to your car. Certain modifications may require separate policies in order to be fully covered. Other custom parts can be added to your existing policy.
Just make sure you don’t leave your Car Insurance company out of the loop. They can’t cover you or your car if they don’t know exactly what vehicle you are driving and what modifications were done to it.
Call an Auto Insurance Specialist
If you’re looking for a custom Auto Insurance policy, contact an Auto Insurance Specialist at (855) 919-4247. Tell us what you need and we’ll help you find the best coverage for your vehicle.
This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverage’s in a given policy may be different than those suggested here. Such policy will be governed by the language contained therein.