Is My Modded Ride Insurable?

Jeff’s Note: Personally, I think anything beyond gas & insurance is a waste of money for your car. Never throw money into a depreciating asset. 

The world of car enthusiasts is filled with true individuals who pride themselves on expressing their personalities through their distinctive and eye-catching vehicles. Some modify their cars for performance, others for aesthetics, but many drivers who make extensive modifications to their vehicles may wonder if their auto insurance policy even covers the monster their humble set of stock wheels has become.

Definitions

For insurance purposes, a “modified vehicle” is one that has undergone significant improvements in its manufacturer specified performance potential or structural alterations to the body of the vehicle that may impact the way it behaves on the road. Replica vehicles also fall under this standard, as they are not officially manufactured or endorsed by the automaker.

A premium custom paint job may also qualify as a significant modification is the value of the service totaled $10,000 or more, as the entire vehicle usually requires professional repainting if just one flaw develops.

Reporting

Most motorheads are totally unaware of their responsibility to report any substantial modifications to their insurance provider immediately. You can contact the HBF car insurance department directly on this link.

Failure to report modifications to your vehicle in a timely fashion could result in the voiding of the policy as a whole, as the insurer can justifiably claim that the vehicle involved in an incident is not the same as that insured by the policy. The vast majority of vehicles an insurance companies are standard factory products with reliable values and attributes, making it easy for them to determine your suitability for coverage.

In the case of modified vehicles, the practical effects of their uniqueness is far more difficult to quantify, and if there’s anything an insurance company cannot stand, it’s unpredictability. The fact is that most insurance companies are ill-equipped to address the needs of custom car enthusiasts, and typically do not respond well to being asked to do so unexpectedly.

For this reason, all modifications to your vehicle should be listed and submitted for the review of your insurer before the alterations take place if at all possible. This will allow you to determine whether a modification poses a risk to the validity of your current coverage, and if so, find an insurer more amenable to your automotive passions.

A custom car can be an unmistakable statement of personal style, but their total uniqueness can make finding effective insurance for these pieces of art a challenge. Check with your insurer to verify your current automotive coverage supports any planned modifications made to your vehicle and if your ride already features heavy modifications, be sure your insurance policy is made to be as one-of-a-kind as it is.

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