How will Modifications Affect My Car Insurance?

You must be wondering, “What can be done to keep down your car insurance prices?” But here, the more relevant question to ask would be, “how to evaluate the current factors which might be driving up my car insurance costs?” Ever thought of equipping your car with some robust alloy wheels? What about those flashy headlights or a turbo engine? Getting suspension work done? You might be tempted, to customize your car in order to gear up the performance or appearance - but there is a hitch to it, as it can quickly add to the cost of your car insurance cover.

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Above-mentioned prices are for a 7-year-old Maruti WAGON R AVANCE LXI (998 CC) registered in Gurgaon and 15 days before expiry of previous policy

Above all, the main reason why your car insurance prices can sky rocket irrespective of your gender, age or total driving experience; is your car modification. You might have gotten these modifications done for enhancement, but they may affect your car insurance premium. You can check various plans for auto insurance online, which can help you, find the most suitable one for your vehicle.

What is actually a car modification?

This can be any slight modification that you make to your vehicle’s factory (company) model, to make it look different and stand out in a crowd. The changes can be made to make it more efficient, appealing, or improve functionality.

Insurance provides you cover from risk, and when you get some modifications done, it increases the chances of risk and therefore, the insurers become all cautious. For instance, if you have tuned a turbo engine or got spoilers installed, this would speed up your car, which means there’s a higher probability of an accident, and with alloys or any attractive modification, the chances of theft also increase.

Considering these points, the insurance companies calculate all the probabilities and thus the insurance premium reaches an all-time high. Whereas, installing parking sensors would decrease the premium costs, as it will reduce the risk of any smashes while reversing the car. While looking for information on auto insurance online, you also need to have an idea about the checklist given below:

Modification Type

Modification Group

Modification

Percentage Increase in Car Insurance

Performance & Aesthetic 

Engine & Mechanics

Turbo/ Supercharging/ Nitrous oxide
Non Standard Engine Change

Exhaust System Changes
Air Filter

132%
63%

26%

25%

Bodywork

Bonnet Bulges, Flared Wings

66%

Complete Body Kit & Panels 

57%

Spoilers

23%

Tinted windows

16%

Lights Addition or Changes

12%

Interior

 

Roll Bars, Roll Cages

41%

Replacement Seats

27%

Upholstery or Dashboard

16%

Brakes & Suspension

Uprated Brakes

36%

Suspension

25%

Paintwork

Specialized paint work

36%

Stripes, Decals, Badges

22%

Wheels

Broad Wheels Or Tyres

18%

Alloy Wheels

8%


Modifications that can increase your car insurance

1. Engine & Mechanics Modification:

The modifications that are done to heighten the engine power, and lead to an increase in the acceleration speed, always increase risk. This is because road accidents are likelier at fast speeds. Drivers, who drive recklessly, are more likely to engage in overtaking, speeding, and other risk activities. That is why; adding a turbo, supercharger or nitrous oxide to your car, can add on to your car insurance premium.

2. Wheel Modifications

Making modifications to your car wheels may enhance the look; whereas wheel upgradation may upturn its value.  So, if you get your car wheels modified, make sure that you disclose it to your insurance company on time.

3. Brakes and Suspension

Any vehicle’s control lies in its brakes, and getting modifications done to such critical parts would need assessment by the insurance company. In case, you have got your car installed with uprated brakes, or if the suspension amended, its performance on the road will change. This also needs to be intimated to your insurance provider.  Moreover, the insurance company won’t be sure about the service provider, from where you might have got your car modified.

4. Car Interior

Making changes to your car steering wheels, pedals, seats or sound system, are also considered to be important changes and need to be informed to your insurance provider.  The quality of the products used, as well as their wear and tear varies and so does the corresponding calculation on your insurance premium.

5. Paint Work

Getting your vehicle’s paint changed might seem to be the most harmless modification done to your car, but this also requires to be informed to your auto insurance provider. Especially, getting extra-ordinary paintwork done – like complex racing designs, eye-catchy designs can drastically change the look of your car. It imposes higher possibilities of theft and as a result, the insurance premium will also increase. In this scenario, the insurance company won’t include your specialist paint modifications.

6. Non-standard engine change

Your vehicle’s engine is an important aspect to decide how much car insurance premium you will actually pay. And a non-standard engine will certainly lead to a non-standard insurance risk and an equivalent increase in the premium. While calculating the policy cost, the insurer takes into consideration the manufacturing year, make and model of your car. Based on this assessment the entire package is made. So, if you check auto insurance online, you will find that the, insurance premium for particular car models is standard, and in case of any modifications, they might need to re-calculate your policy premium.

Things to Remember

Before getting any modification done onto your vehicle, make sure that you inform your insurer well in advance about any changes. This will help them analyze the impact it will have on your vehicle and calculate the premium accordingly.  Do not wait for the last moment, when the time for your policy renewal is just round the corner. Every insurance company has its own view about the modifications that you make to your vehicle.

Any modification or change that happens onto your car, may undermine your policy, if, the insurance company is not informed in advance. While, informing might add to the total cost, but if not disclosed it might be considered as deceitful and can impose problems at the time of the claim.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 26 June 2021
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