Modified car insurance: how to buy, what’s covered and everything you need to know | Taza Khabre

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  • Modified insurance covers aftermarket additions to your car, providing full coverage for your personalized ride and peace of mind.
  • Certain modifications such as wheels, body modifications, paint, suspension upgrades and engine upgrades must be covered by the modified insurance.
  • Modified insurance ensures that the parts you spent thousands on will be covered and may even lower your premium if certain modifications minimize the risk.


Modified insurance is a specialized type of car insurance coverage that gearheads everywhere can benefit from, as many of us have undoubtedly spent thousands of dollars personalizing our precious rides.

Part of our passion is replacing mechanical or cosmetic parts, especially on performance of carsas we seek to improve engine power or try to create a more aggressive look on the road.

Fashion for sports cars don’t come cheap, so the logic of modified insurance quickly becomes apparent, especially to those who have worked tirelessly to create something to be proud of. Read on to learn about the hidden benefits of this specialized insurance coverage and exactly how it can bring added peace of mind to your life.

The information was collected from sources such as PolicyGenius and Hagertyto provide you with everything you need to know about modified car insurance.


What is modified insurance and do I need it?

Nissan

Every car on the road needs insurance, as you know, to be protected against accidents and vandalism. As any insurance document will tell you before taking out a policy, it is imperative that you provide the correct information from the start or you risk voiding your policy when it comes time to make a claim.

This means telling the insurer exactly what type of car you own, the type of mileage you expect to cover and of course your personal details and any motoring convictions you may have against you. However, you may not know that you also need to declare any modifications that your vehicle may have.

This is where modified insurance comes into play as, unlike other insurance companies, they will cover aftermarket additions to your car, providing full coverage for your pride and joy. After all, why spend thousands to customize your ride when it can be lost through a simple accident, theft or act of vandalism?

Related: The truth about insurance requirements for autonomous vehicles in America

What is considered a modification of insurance companies?

Shown is the front profile of a 1935 Chevrolet HotRod
AutotopiaLA YouTube

This brings into the equation what exactly is considered a change of insurance companies and what do you need to declare? There’s no need to get carried away, don’t call your supplier every time you buy a new AUX cord for example, but if you’ve replaced any of the factory items below with aftermarket versions, you should absolutely consider modded insurance after these changes.

Different types of mods you should cover

  • Wheels; We can bet that this is one of the most common mods used by gearheads everywhere, and it can also be quite expensive. If you’ve installed a set of new rims on your pride and joy, modified insurance is for you.
  • Body modifications; a great way to change the look of your car, whether you’ve installed a widebody kit or simply swapped your Type-S bumper for a Typer-R, OEM or not, it’s something worth protecting with a custom coating.
  • Paint; if you’ve gone to the trouble of replacing the bumpers and installing wide arches, chances are you can paint it too. This is another mod that can be covered by specialist insurers and is something to look out for as the often flashy look can lead to vandalism from envious people.
  • Individual suspension; Whether you just finished building a great lowrider, lifted your pickup, or installed coilovers on your track toy, suspension can and should be covered. After all, a suspension upgrade can easily cost thousands of dollars, so imagine how disappointed you would be if your pride and joy was stolen and the insurer only paid out the stock value.
  • Engine modernization; something like a major turbo tune or a custom fuel system upgrade can easily be protected with a special modified car coating.

The bottom line is that modifying a car will in turn change its value, and some insurers may even consider whether you did the modifications yourself or had the work done by a professional company.

Related: Has anyone calculated how much Jay Leno’s car insurance costs?

Here’s how modified insurance can help you

Nissan S13 240 SX drift car
Photo: Justin Koehler

A big benefit we’ve already covered, modified insurance is the only way to ensure that the parts you’ve spent thousands of dollars on are actually covered and paid for in the event of a claim.

Perhaps more worryingly, if you are involved in an incident, your insurance company or other car insurance companies may not pay out if it turns out that your car has been modified without your insurer’s knowledge. This will of course leave you massively out of pocket!

Here’s something that many people don’t often notice: some modifications can actually lower your insurance premium. Just think about it: installing something like an upgraded anti-theft device or rear-view camera minimizes the risk of having to file a claim. Some insurers will take this to heart and eventually lower the cost of your premium as their risk of paying out is reduced. A win-win situation and a great reason to consider modified insurance.

Modified insurance will usually have higher premiums than standard car insurance, but that’s for a reason, and if the day comes when you need to make a claim, you’ll thank your previous self for choosing the right policy. Maybe even consider factoring the added cost of the modified insurance into the modification process itself, and then it might not seem like such an extra burden on renewal day.

Related: Here’s What They Don’t Tell You About Modifying Your Car

Here’s how to buy modified insurance

A modified 1963 Volkswagen Beetle is parked
Bring a trailer

It’s highly recommended that you do your research first before making any desired changes, as you don’t want to be in for a nasty surprise by telling your insurer after a huge increase in premiums. PolicyGenius actually allows you to estimate premium increases before you start workwhich can save you in the long run.

However, the first thing to do is to actually check whether your current provider will offer cover for the change, and if not, you may want to consider a different insurance company. Here’s a list of companies to consider for modified insurance, although it’s not exhaustive, so still check to see if your current provider can help first if you don’t see them listed.

The best modified insurers to consider

  • Hagerty
  • JC Taylor
  • Condon Skelly
  • Grundy
  • American National

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