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Any alterations you make to your car after purchasing it could affect the premiums you pay
Making changes or alterations to a car is a popular hobby for motorheads and car enthusiasts. But did you know that any alterations you make to a vehicle after it has been purchased could push up the price you pay for your car insurance premium?
What is a modified car?
A modified car is a vehicle that has had any change or alteration done to it under the instruction of the owner. Car modifications generally fall under two categories: cosmetic and performance modifications.Cosmetic - these are modifications to the look and aesthetic of your vehicle. Examples of cosmetic modifications include custom painting of the car’s exterior, swapping the standard rims for customized ones, and installation of a sunroof and/or tinted windows. Performance - performance modifications affect the performance and ability of the vehicle. Things such as engine replacement, increasing horsepower, turbo upgrades, brake, and suspension alterations are all examples of performance enhancements.
Should I tell my insurer about my modifications?
Yes, without a doubt. Always be sure that you declare any modifications you have made, or are planning to make, to your car insurer. If you are purchasing a new policy, be upfront from the beginning about any modifications your vehicle might have.
If you have made, or have plans to make any modifications to your vehicle, and have a current insurance policy, always discuss it with your insurer first. If your car is modified in some way and you don’t inform your insurer, then any claim you make may be invalidated if your vehicle is damaged or stolen.
Your insurer may or may not offer car insurance for modified cars. Depending on the insurer, the company may only agree to cover certain pre-listed modifications on their 3rd party or comprehensive insurance policies. Other modifications may require you to purchase additional insurance as they won’t be covered by your regular policy.
How do modifications affect my car insurance?
Any modifications you make to your car can have an impact on your car insurance policy, more directly, how much you will be paying for your insurance. For the most part, any alterations you make to your vehicle will drive up the price of your insurance.
If your insurance provider does not cover any modifications or won’t cover the specific modifications you’ve made, then you may need to consider purchasing specialized, additional car insurance for your modified car.
There are instances, however, where alterations can actually make your car safer (such as installing a car alarm) which could possibly mean a decrease in your monthly payments. Practical car upgrades such as bicycle and roof racks may not have an effect on your policy whatsoever.
It’s best to discuss any modifications you might be planning with your insurer, before you go through with them, to assess how they may affect your premiums.
Why does car insurance for modified cars cost more?
The reason why coverage for modified cars is higher than regular vehicle insurance is that, generally-speaking, modified cars are at higher risk of being claimed on then unmodified cars. Modifications made to vehicles can put a car at:Higher accident risk - Any engine or performance upgrades that improve the vehicle’s speed performance will automatically increase the risk of it being involved in a collision or high-speed accident. Higher theft risk - Aesthetic alterations to a car, such as a mag replacement or speaker upgrades, can increase the risk of the car being stolen or broken into.
What are the requirements for modified cars in the UAE?
In the UAE, most insurance companies will only offer car insurance for modified cars that have been modified through a licensed dealer or showroom, and not third-party mechanics or workshops.
It is required by law for modified car owners in the UAE to possess a “certificate of modifications” issued by the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA).
This certificate is issued to the vehicle owner once their modified car has passed a thorough inspection for safety and roadworthiness.
No matter your car insurance requirements, you can find what you need with Compare Insurance. Browse our comprehensive online range of car insurance policies, from a variety of insurers, to find the right kind of car insurance for your modified car.
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