You may have made changes to your car to make it look better. Maybe you wanted it to perform better. As you know, most modifications you make to your car are legal. However, getting your vehicle insured can add complications to your car’s registration.
In this guide, we’ll look at what defines a modified vehicle and what you need to know before you contact an insurance agent. Since standard policies sometimes don’t cover your modified car, it’s important to have the facts about modified car insurance coverage. Here’s what you need to know.
What Does “Modified Car” Mean?
A modification to your car is any change you make that differs from the car that came off the factory lines. For instance, you may choose to install larger rims and tires. Maybe you put ground effects on your car. You could tint your windows. You could even install a better stereo system. Even a new roof rack counts!
Each of these changes is a modification. That means that when you’re shopping for car insurance, you’ll have to check that little box that asks whether you’ve made changes or modifications to your car. Most modifications aren’t classified by type, which means that the remote start will be just as much applicable to new insurance rates as a dropped suspension.
Do I Need Modified Car Insurance Coverage?
It’s always best to ask your car insurance agent if your modification can be covered by a standard insurance policy. Again, modifications aren’t classified by what the actual change was, so even your tinted windows can cost you as much as your custom paint job.
The first thing you’ll need to consider is how much money you’ve invested in your vehicle. If you’ve spent thousands of dollars improving your vehicle’s appearance and performance, you’ll obviously want that investment protected in the event of a theft or accident.
Secondly, you’ll have to determine whether your current insurer will cover your car with the modifications you’ve made. Speak frankly and be specific when you tell your agent about the changes you’ve made. He or she can tell you if the company can insure you or if you’ll need a custom car insurance company.
In most cases, your basic insurance policy will only cover the original manufacturer’s equipment (excluding tires and similar replacements). Therefore, if you’re in an accident you’ll be out quite a bit of money if you don’t have modified car insurance coverage.
How Much Does Modified Car Insurance Coverage Cost?
We can’t give you a quote for your modified car insurance coverage. We don’t know your driving history, credit score, or even the modifications you’ve made to your vehicle.
We can tell you, however, that coverage for a modified vehicle is typically more expensive than for a car with OEM parts. This makes sense, of course. You’re receiving a higher dollar value of car insurance coverage and therefore will pay more each month for your premiums.
That said, if you’ve made significant and expensive changes to your car, modified car insurance coverage is likely a good choice for you, despite the cost. It may even be a requirement with some car insurance companies, so be sure to find out the details.
Alternatives to Modified Car Insurance Coverage
As you’re shopping around for car insurance, there are two alternatives to modified insurance you might be able to explore.
The first of these is an agreed value policy. If you’ve been with your insurer for a while, you may be able to set up insurance based on an agreed-upon value. Imagine you bought a Toyota Camry for $30,000. You then added remote start, a new sound system, and underbody lights.
Instead of purchasing standard insurance, you could talk to your insurer about purchasing, say, $50,000 of coverage. This is the flat amount that you’ll be paid if your car is wrecked or stolen.
The second alternative is to see if your umbrella policy might cover your modifications. An umbrella policy is one that will “step in” to cover the difference if your standard insurance coverage limits are too low to protect you.
Conclusion: Finding a Modified Car Insurance Company
Making modifications to your car improves its appearance and its performance, but it can be expensive! Whether you’re listening to a new sound system or bumping along with a lowered suspension, you want to protect your investment. Modified car insurance coverage is likely just what you need to retain peace of mind and financial protection.