Car Modification

How Car Modification Affects Your Car Insurance? - Edelweiss General Insurance Blogs

21st November 2018 8min read 13503 views

Thinking of replacing your basic gas pedal with something more motorsport-ready? Or maybe swapping out your engine for a turbo? How about furnishing the interiors with custom leather? Tailoring your car so that it syncs with your unique personality, performs better than anyone could ever imagine, and looks like a billion bucks can be a tempting idea. However, aside from the expenses attached to making these changes, there’s another way modifying your car can cost you – by shooting your car insurance premiums sky-high.

To understand this, you must first know what a car modification actually implies.

What Does a Car Modification Imply?

Any alteration made to the car’s factory model to enhance its appearance, appeal, or functionality is considered a modification. This can include kitting your car with alloy wheels, upgrading to flashier headlights, or tuning the suspension. More often than not, these modifications drive up the value of your vehicle, coupled with the chances of it being stolen or damaged in an accident. Therefore, in the eyes of insurance providers, such customisations are major red flags as they make the car more risk-prone.

When you make engine changes or add sports seats, your car is assessed as a greater accident risk by insurers. On the other hand, modifications such as phone kits and navigation systems increase the risk of theft.

Which Modifications Affect Your Car Insurance the Most?

Not every modification will have the same effect on your insurance premiums. If you are partial to elevating your vehicle’s performance and aesthetics and fancy a brand new turbo engine, your car insurance cost can go up by about 132%. Whereas, if you spring for some bodywork and install spoilers, it can hike up the charges by around 23%. Even having specialised paintwork done can potentially result in a 36% upsurge in the premium prices. Below, we explain why:

  1. 1. Paintwork : Modifying the paint of your car is the fastest and most drastic way of upgrading its appearance. Doing so can increase the possibility of theft, which is why most insurers either won’t cover the alteration in the policy or charge more premium for the same.
  2. 2. Engine and Mechanics : Amplifying the power of your car's engine will lead to greater acceleration speed, which automatically raises the chances of road accidents. For this reason, adding turbo or nitrous oxide to your vehicle can result in the growth of your premiums.
  3. 3. Wheels : If you opt for wider wheels or alloys, it will change the look of your vehicle and upturn its value. And the higher the value of the car, the greater the cost of its insurance.
  4. 4. Brakes and Suspension : Brakes are one of the most critical parts of an automobile. Any amendments made to them are likely to cause a significant shift in the vehicle’s performance on the road. While uprated brakes can inflate your car insurance premiums by 36%, a modified suspension can cost you an extra 25%.
In short, enhancing the performance and aesthetics of your car will definitely cause an uptick in the cost of cover. It’s just that some modifications are perceived low-risk and others high-risk by insurance companies . So, if you are looking to modify your vehicle, it is best to let your insurer know and check how it impacts your premium.
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