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Modified Car Insurance
Your car is one of the few mobile assets you will ever own, we understand that you want to make it look good. However, aesthetics and elegance shouldn’t make you pay ridiculous amounts in insurance premiums. We are here to help you compare modified car insurance.
Even though modifications to your vehicle might make it look & perform better, standard insurance companies do not care about that. If an accident occurs, you might incur heavy costs for the modifications you make.
Modified Car Insurance FAQs
What is modified car insurance?
Modified Car Insurance in the UK refers to a specialised type of auto insurance that covers vehicles that have been altered or customised beyond the manufacturer’s original specifications. This could include modifications for performance (like engine upgrades), cosmetic changes (like body kits or custom paint jobs), or adaptations for disabled drivers.
Insurance companies view modified cars as higher risk because:
Increased value: Modifications can significantly increase the value of the car. In case of theft or total loss, the insurer would have to pay out more.
Increased risk of accidents: Some modifications can increase performance, which could potentially result in higher speeds and a greater likelihood of accidents.
Theft risk: Modified cars, particularly those with visible modifications, may be more appealing to thieves.
Due to these risks, regular car insurance policies might not provide sufficient cover for modified cars. That’s where Modified Car Insurance comes in. This specialised insurance takes into account the unique attributes and increased risks of modified cars. It’s specifically designed to cover these vehicles’ added value and risks.
However, it’s important to note that Modified Car Insurance can be more expensive than regular car insurance. Furthermore, not all insurance companies offer it, so owners of modified cars may need to seek out insurers who specialise in this type of cover.
Always disclose any modifications to your insurer. Failure to do so can invalidate your policy, meaning the insurer can refuse to pay out in the event of a claim. Even minor modifications can affect your insurance, so it’s crucial to keep your insurer informed.
Different types of modified car insurance cover?
Different types of modified car insurance cover in the UK might include:
- Third-Party Only (TPO): This is the minimum level of cover required by law in the UK. It covers liability for injury to others (including passengers), damage to third-party property, and liability while towing, but it doesn’t cover the driver’s own vehicle.
- Third-Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT): This includes everything covered by TPO plus protection for the vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged by fire.
- Comprehensive: This offers the highest level of cover. It includes everything covered by TPFT plus protection for the vehicle against accidental damage and vandalism. It may also cover personal belongings in the car, windscreen damage, and even medical expenses.
Each of these types can be adapted for a modified car, meaning the insurer would also take into account the modifications when calculating the premium and the payout in the event of a claim.
Additionally, some insurers offer specialised cover options for modified cars, such as:
- Agreed Value Cover: This is often useful for modified cars as the insurer and policyholder agree on a specific value for the vehicle at the start of the policy. This value is what the insurer would pay out if the car is written off or stolen. This can provide reassurance if modifications have significantly increased the car’s value.
- Modified Car Breakdown Cover: Some insurers offer specialised breakdown covers for modified cars, acknowledging that certain modifications may increase the risk of breakdowns.
- Modification Cover: Certain policies may offer cover for specific modifications. This could include covering the cost of replacing or repairing non-standard parts.
- Salvage Retention Rights: If a modified car is written off, some insurers offer the policyholder the right to buy back the salvage, which could include valuable modified parts.
- Track Day / Rally Cover: Some insurers offer cover that protects the car while it’s being used on a racetrack or during a rally, which is typically excluded from standard policies.
What is considered a modifcation on a car?
A modification on a car is considered any change made to the vehicle that alters it from the manufacturer’s original factory specification. There are numerous types of modifications, and some common ones include:
- Performance Modifications: These are changes made to improve the performance of the car. They can include things like upgrading the engine, adding a turbocharger, modifying the exhaust system, or installing performance brakes.
- Cosmetic Modifications: These are changes made to the appearance of the car. They can include things like changing the car’s paint colour, adding body kits, installing spoilers, adding custom decals, or altering the interior with things like sports seats or a new steering wheel.
- Audio/Visual Modifications: These include changes like upgrading the car stereo system, adding in-car entertainment systems (like video screens), installing additional lighting, or adding a custom horn.
- Wheel/Tyre Modifications: Changes to the wheels or tyres, such as installing larger alloy wheels, low-profile tyres, or spacers to alter the vehicle’s stance.
- Suspension Modifications: These might include changing the springs, shocks, or struts to alter the car’s ride height or handling characteristics.
- Safety Modifications: These could include things like installing a roll cage, harnesses, or upgraded brakes. However, some safety modifications might still affect your insurance premium, so they should still be declared.
- Changes for Disabled Drivers: Modifications such as hand controls, wheelchair ramps, or lifts are changes made to accommodate a driver with disabilities.
What are car modifications and do they affect my insurance?
Car modifications are changes or additions to a vehicle that alter it from the manufacturer’s original factory specifications. They can be done to enhance the vehicle’s performance, appearance, and functionality or to cater to the driver’s personal taste or requirements (for instance, modifications for disabled drivers).
Here are some common examples of car modifications:
- Performance modifications, such as changes to the engine, exhaust system, transmission, or adding a turbocharger to increase the car’s speed or power.
- Cosmetic modifications, such as changes to the car’s bodywork (e.g., spoilers, body kits), custom paint jobs, or interior modifications (e.g., aftermarket seats, steering wheels).
- Wheel and tire modifications, like installing oversized wheels or low-profile tires.
- Audio/visual modifications, such as installing a high-end audio system or in-car entertainment system.
- Safety modifications, such as roll cages or performance brakes.
- Functional modifications, like sunroofs, tinted windows, or modifications for disabled drivers, including ramps or hand controls.
Car modifications can affect your insurance in several ways:
- Increased Risk: Modifications that increase the performance of a vehicle can also increase the risk of an accident, which can lead to higher insurance premiums.
- Increased Value: Modifications can also increase the value of your vehicle. If your vehicle is stolen or damaged beyond repair, the insurance company may have to pay more to replace it, which can also lead to higher premiums.
- Theft Risk: Certain modifications, especially those that improve the vehicle’s appearance, could make your car more attractive to thieves. This increased risk of theft can result in a higher insurance premium.
- Reduced Risk: On the other hand, some modifications can lower your insurance premium. For example, safety modifications such as adding a security system or immobilizer can reduce the risk of theft.
What happens if I don’t declare modifications to my insurer?
If you fail to declare any modifications to your car insurer, it could have significant consequences:
- Invalidation of Your Insurance Policy: If you have modified your vehicle and failed to notify your insurer, they might declare your policy invalid. This could mean that in the event of a claim, they could refuse to cover the costs associated with the damage or loss of your vehicle.
- Claim Rejection: If you have a car accident and need to make a claim, your insurer might refuse the claim on the grounds of non-disclosure of the modifications. This could leave you having to cover the repair costs or the replacement of the vehicle yourself.
- Difficulty Getting Future Coverage: If your insurance is invalidated for failure to disclose modifications, this can make it more difficult to get car insurance in the future. Insurers may consider you a higher-risk customer, and you could face higher premiums as a result.
- Legal Implications: Driving without valid insurance is illegal in many places, including the UK. If your insurance is invalidated because you didn’t disclose modifications, and you continue to drive your car, you could face fines, points on your license, or even prosecution.
Therefore, it is crucial to declare any modifications you make to your vehicle to your insurance company, regardless of whether you believe they will increase or decrease your insurance costs. Being upfront and honest with your insurer is the best policy to avoid any potential complications down the line.
ABI – Association of British Insurers – The Association of British Insurers is the leading trade association for insurers and providers of long term savings. … need to contact their insurer for a Green Card which they will need to carry on them if they wish to drive their vehicle in the EU.
BIBA – British Insurance Brokers’ Association – The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is the UK ‘s leading general insurance organisation.
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