Car modifications are one way to make your stand out from the rest and give it your unique twist to it This can be done with a simple change of the wheels and tires for a functional yet aesthetic look to accessories such as aftermarket fender flares, lips, and vents. You can even enhance the handling capabilities of your car by adding an aftermarket suspension to it or even add a bit of power with a tune and a few power modifications.
While these modifications can be functional, your car insurance company may not cover them especially if you have a comprehensive policy. This then begs the question, are car modifications covered by your standard comprehensive car insurance?
Do I need to get special coverage for my car modifications?
The simple answer to this question is yes, you do need to get special coverage for your modifications as your vehicle is no longer considered stock and may have strayed from its original factory specifications. Whether you plan to do a custom paint job or something major like adding a turbo or suspension modifications, customizing your car can have some ramifications when talking about insurance.
What will my standard comprehensive insurance cover?
Vehicle modifications or customizations that are not made by the factory along with aftermarket parts are not included in your standard insurance policy. With any modifications attached to your vehicle, your insurer will consider your vehicle as a “customized/modified” car. This holds true if the chassis, body, or frame have been structurally modified, or when the car’s performance has been augmented. A standard insurance policy will not also cover a custom paint job especially if it exceeds several thousands of pesos.
However, an insurance company may cover your aftermarket wheels and tires. Do note that this is still subjective and may change between the insurance companies. If they do cover aftermarket wheels and tires, the insurance company will typically ask you for the receipts for it. Something to note is that the insurance company will only give you a portion of the value of your wheels in the event that they need to be reimbursed in a loss settlement.
What car insurance coverage will I need to cover my modifications?
When it comes to car modifications that you want to include in your insurance policy there are two ways to do it. The first is to get supplemental coverage, while the second is to get classic/collectible car insurance. Standard comprehensive car insurance won’t be able to cover the cost of your modifications in the event that you will need to file a loss claim.
What is supplemental coverage?
Supplemental coverage is an insurance policy add-on that will cover part of the cost to replace the modifications done to your vehicle. Depending on the company they will typically issue a price cap for these modifications and will not cover the entire cost of them. Typically this insurance coverage will only cover approximately up to 10% of the value of the modifications and not its entire cost. While it may add a bit to your policy it's better than nothing and a total loss to your modifications, that's why it's still a good investment regardless if the insurance company will only cover up to 10 percent.
Classic/Collectible Car Insurance
Your other option to make sure the modifications to your car are covered by car insurance is to seek a carrier that specializes in insuring collectible/classic automobiles which may include modified vehicles as well. Do note that this kind of coverage is still up to the discretion of the provider based on what they will consider a “classic car." By definition, a classic car may be considered if its age is from 10 to 50+ years old.
Things to consider
When you want to get insurance for your modifications there are a few things that you will need to consider before you proceed.
Read your existing policy and find out what it covers
Consult with your insurance provider if they can offer something for your desired modifications
Make sure to get it in writing, and clarify with your agent about anything that might confuse you with regards to your policy also in writing.
Be transparent with your modifications with your insurance provider as they may void a loss claim to your vehicle if it has modifications not part of your original insurance policy.
Consider the risks versus the increase in price for your insurance policy. Remember that getting insurance for your modifications will be at an additional cost.
If you are ready and able to sustain the extra cost for the coverage of your modification to your vehicle then you can proceed with getting a new policy. However, if you don’t think you can sustain the extra cost, you may want to keep your vehicle stock and maybe reconsider getting your modifications. Regardless if the insurance policy is only going cover a certain amount for your modifications if you choose to get coverage for it, it's still better than nothing especially if you have to file a loss claim.