Why do Insurers Ask if you Have Made Vehicular Customisations?

Paul Hadley
10/25/201825th October, 2018
Filed under Car Topics

When you have secured insurance for your vehicle, an agreement immediately comes into place on what coverage you’re getting, what kind of driver you are, and what your vehicle is capable of. Therefore, the moment you add a modification to your vehicle, you’ve gone ahead and redefined the terms of that understanding.

This can set insurers on edge, and cause deals to end flatly. Still, you can better avoid this by understanding the perspective of the insurer.

Consequently, here’s a few reasons as to why insurers enquire about any vehicle modifications you have made.

Covering Risk

For transparency, insurers need to be notified on any modifications you’ve made to a vehicle, whether they’re stickers, new wheels or a roof rack. This is because they change the conditions under which you’re driving and may even raise the likelihood of accidents and pay-outs.

This isn’t to punish or aggravate you as the driver, but to ensure that they can adequately compensate you if a certain modification adds more risk when driving.

For example, if you place a supercharged engine into your vehicle, chances are significantly higher that accidental speeding can happen. Obviously, speeding causes accidents, so insurers simply weigh the modifications you’ve made to your vehicle against the likelihood of an accident, then price their service accordingly.

Vehicle Value

If your car has been newly fitted with some pristine bodywork, then this will require a pricier replacement than standard windows, wheel arches and everything else that makes up the car. If it’s flashy it’s expensive, and insurance companies will want to know what they may need to cover. In the end, every modification is an update on the cars value too.

Remember, cars undergo depreciation and lose a significant amount of value the moment they’re driven away from the lot. Obviously, if you keep updating your car with new parts, that downward trajectory won’t be as steep for your vehicle. This can make poorer insurance companies nervous if they know they’re to be contractually bound to covering a car that will be particularly expensive to compensate. In the end, contracts can be refused because of this as it’s less financially viable for them.

Unlike GAP Insurance which is fairer and more flexible, many insurers have a very one-sided agenda. Modifications do tend to reach a line in terms of what certain poorer insurers accept. Typically, some insurers won’t pretend to care if any accidents are your fault or not; if the car is expensive to replace then it’s not a viable investment. In the end, it’s better to be transparent will all insurers until a mutual agreement is reached.

author avatar Written by Paul Hadley

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