Whether it’s a modification of the car or adding any accessories that change a car’s security or performance, one has to notify the car insurance provider about such transformations. They will evaluate the risk or the effect of the changes and accordingly calculate the new premium. The changes made to the car can affect the amount of insurance premium that is paid annually. So, it is adequate to think about the potential costs that one will bear before modifying their vehicle.
Modifications that Affect Car Insurance
1. New paint job
Modifying a car’s paint can significantly change its look, particularly by adding funky patterns and designs. Though changing the paint may seem like a harmless modification, one still needs to inform the insurer about it. Specialized paint works like decorative decals or eye-catching designs can increase the risk of the vehicle getting stolen, due to which the insurer may hike the car insurance premium.
2. Car interiors
With any exterior changes, one needs to inform their insurer about the particular changes. This includes changing the car’s steering wheel, pedals, the look of the dashboard, sound system, or even seats. Adding a music system, making changes to the air conditioner, and adding accessories like bluetooth, dual horns, etc. come under interior modifications too. Such modifications can decrease the safety of the car and can lead to an increase in the car’s susceptibility to getting damaged severely in an accident. Thus, the cost of the car insurance policy will increase as well. Changing the factory-made roll cage of the car increases the insurance premium by around 41%. Any replacement in the seats of the car will increase the premium of the car insurance policy by 27%. Modification of the upholstery and dashboard of the car would also cause the cost of the insurance policy to surge by about 16%.
3. Engine modifications
People often modify to boost the performance of the engine. Such changes can help the vehicle achieve higher speed and quicker acceleration. But, acceleration speed increases the risk of an accident. Enhancing the performance of the car can make a dangerous machine that encourages over speed and overtaking without caution. Thus, any such engine modification, like adding a turbocharger or nitrous oxide unit, will increase the insurance premium amount. Also, boosting the car’s horsepower can cause a hike in the premium you pay for the car insurance policy. Modifying the car exhaust system and air filters can cause the premium to increase by 25%, and engine upgrades such as turbocharging can possibly increase the car insurance premium by a whopping 32%
4. Replacing the engine
A car’s engine is one of the primary aspects that decide the insurance premium. The insurance company charges a standard car insurance premium on factory-installed engines based on the make of the model, brand, and manufacturing year. Therefore, one must inform the insurer about the process because they calculate the insurance premium based on the quality of the products installed.
5. The suspension system and brakes
Upgrading or changing the brakes and suspension system of the car drastically affects its performance by changing the power and speed. Therefore, the insurer needs to assess any change to such critical parts. One must notify the insurer to reassess the insurance premium in case of any such modifications to your car.
6. Modifications can also reduce premium
Yes, it’s true all modifications do not require a higher vehicle insurance premium. For example, an ARAI-approved anti-theft alarm system or a tracking system in the car can lower the risk of theft or break-in. Also, a parking sensor can reduce the risk of accidentally hitting the car against another car or a wall while reversing.
Ensure that you know the consequences, before making modifications to your car. Modifying can definitely make your car the center of attraction, but car modification affects car insurance. Certain performance modifications can cause the vehicle to malfunction or damage other parts and one may have to pay a higher car insurance premium if there are any modifications. So, informing the insurer beforehand about the modifications can be profitable to both.
Author Bio:Smriti Gala works as a Digital Marketing Manager with Coverfox. As her life turned upside down when COVID severely afflicted her family members, Smriti decided to dedicate her expertise towards informing and educating the masses about the importance of health insurance. When she is not actively writing enlightening content, our ‘monk marketer’ likes to meditate, meet new people and explore less travelled territories.