Modifying a car changes its value and accident risk, which is why your auto insurance coverage might not extend to a modified car or the modified part. Here are some of the factors that determine whether your coverage applies to your modified car:
Reason for the Modification
The reason for the modification or what the modification will achieve is one of the premiere factors that determine whether it is covered or not. For example, a medication that you need to make so that your car becomes more accessible to you if you have developed a disability (such as an amputation) is likely to be covered. However, a modification that makes your car more powerful or speedy may not be covered.
Whether the Modification Is Legal
It also matters whether the modification you want to make is legal or not. After all, not all modifications are legal, and you can't expect your insurance company to extend coverage to illegal car modifications. For example, many places have outlawed the modification of the exhaust system. So, if that is what you were planning, it might be time to shop for new coverage through a different auto insurance service.
Whether the Modification Is Merely Cosmetic
As a general rule, your auto insurance company isn't concerned with your car's appearance. Therefore, if you want to add a spoiler to make your car appear spottier or if you want to do a custom paint job, you can go ahead with the planning knowing that it probably won't affect your coverage.
What to Do Before Modifying Your Car
As you can see, there are cases where a modified car is still covered, and cases where the modification voids the coverage. Here are two things you should do before modifying your car if you want it to be covered post modification:
Scrutinize Your Policy
If you already have the car you want to modify and you have already purchased insurance, the best way to know for sure whether the coverage will still apply post-modification is to read the policy again. Many policies list the modifications covered and those not covered. For example, you may find that alloy wheels, bull bars, and roof racks are covered, but auxiliary lights, roll bars, and supercharged engines aren't covered.
Talk to Your Insurance Carrier
Since it's impossible for your insurer to list all the possible modifications on the policy, you may find that the modification you are contemplating isn't mentioned. In such a case, contact your auto insurance carrier or agent for further clarification. In fact, it is always a good idea not to make any modification to your car without informing your insurance company about it.