Many people these days have made modifications to their car, which can definitely make for a tougher process of getting it insured. However, there is such thing as “modified car insurance,” in which insurance companies will allow you to get an insurance policy that provides coverage for your modified vehicle. Plenty of people have gotten import car insurance and have had to make modifications to their imports in order to make the car fit the driving laws and regulations in the United States. People that have modified street cars should know that although they may need to pay higher premiums, they still can get coverage and can be eligible for savings like every other person with car insurance.
The only downside to having a modified car is that your insurance prices are generally going to be more expensive than average. As long as you can afford coverage, it is completely worth it to buy some for your vehicle. Insurance companies are not going to judge your risk to them based only on the fact that you have a modified car, they are also going to look at other factors like driving history and number of accidents and take them into account before they give you an estimated quote.
What is Modified Car Insurance?
Modified car insurance is an insurance policy that allows individuals to have insurance coverage for a vehicle that has had modifications made to it. Certain modifications could be things like getting customized rims on your vehicle, getting chrome additions to your vehicle, getting a custom interior, adding an expensive spoiler, getting tinted windows, a customized engine, a specialized muffler and tailpipe, and more. There are a wide variety of modifications that can be made to vehicles, and unfortunately the price to insure modifications goes up for a number of various reasons.
Why Modified Auto Insurance Costs More
Reasons that the price may be increased on your insurance premiums for modified car insurance include: the parts of your car are expensive to replace, the parts of your car are rare – and can only be purchased certain places, people are more likely to steal from your vehicle since it has been modified, and finally, it may not be as safe as other cars that have not been modified. Insurance companies are only doing their job and making insurance costs fair when they aim to insure a modified vehicle. They will usually take a look at it, assess the value of the vehicle, and then calculate an insurance estimate to give you if you are interested in purchasing some.
Finding Reliable Modified Auto Insurance Companies
Talking to others with this type of car insurance
There are many ways in which you can find reliable modified car insurance. Probably the best way to find a good deal is to talk to other people that have had to buy insurance for their modified car. There are thousands of people that have had their vehicles modified and needed to do research on insurance before they purchased a policy – if you know anybody that has a modified vehicle, ask them about their insurance policy and what they do to save. Word-of-mouth is a great way to find out more about all types of auto insurance.
Researching modified car insurance online
The internet is full of information and tips related to all types of car insurance. One way in which you can find a good provider for your modified car insurance is to do some searching on your computer. Many people have been able to find companies that specialize in this type of insurance, gather quotes, and then compare policies before they buy. If I was going to get insurance for a modified car, not only would I ask some friends about where they decided to go for their insurance, but I would also do some of my own research and make some phone calls to various companies to find out what kind of deals they have to offer.
How to Reduce Modified Car Insurance Cost
Install a Good Alarm System
There are a number of different ways in which you can reduce the cost of your modified auto insurance price. Simple things like installing an alarm system can really save you money on your insurance billing statements. People without an alarm system or a poor alarm are going to pay more for their insurance policy because their vehicle is at a greater risk of being stolen or tampered with by vandals and thieves. Another thing that people have done to improve security is install extra locks to their wheel nuts so that people are not able to steal the rims and tires off of their car.
Make your Car Safer
Another way you can reduce the cost of your modified car is by making sure that it fits the necessary safety requirements and concerns of your insurance company. Make sure that it has good seatbelts, properly adjusted seats, and that appropriate crash-safety precautions are taken. There are a lot of different ways in which you can make your modified car safer for the road. If you are unsure of what can be done, be sure to speak with a mechanic or discuss things with your insurance company to see what they can recommend.
Store your Modified Car in a Garage
Parking your vehicle on the streets is going to result in a greater chance of it being stolen and thus is going to increase the price to insure your vehicle. Anytime that you can store your modified vehicle in a garage, you are going to save money on your insurance in comparison to people who park their cars out in the streets. There are also other advantages to storing your vehicle in a garage like protection from destructive weather and animals. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to risk having hail pour down on the front of my modified car.
Drive your Modified Car Less Frequently
People that drive their modified cars less often can save money because certain times of year are naturally more dangerous for driving. If you live in the northern states and drive your car through snow, there is a greater percent chance that something like ice could cause you to get into an accident or that snow could cause problems to a peak performance engine. There are a wide variety of reasons that insurance companies will allow you to save money if you agree to buy a seasonal policy in comparison to one that covers your vehicle for the entire year.
Get Less Expensive Parts to Replace Expensive Ones
People that are riding around with expensive car modifications such as an improved engine are going to pay more for their insurance. If you don’t have a problem paying for the modifications that have been made to your vehicle, then you probably aren’t concerned too much with reducing the price that you pay towards your insurance. However, if you are able to get some less expensive parts in your vehicle that aren’t considered “rare” (e.g. they are available at most mainstream auto stores), you can probably stand to save some money.
Always ask your insurance provider how much you can save as well as what parts they recommend replacing. Many people with performance exhaust systems, customized car body kits, and changes in the suspension can really cause the insurance cost to significantly skyrocket. If you have any direct questions related to the modifications that have been made on your vehicle and what is recommended, take the time to get in touch with either a car insurance company, agent, or consult with a couple car insurance brokers to see what they recommend.
Always Be Honest About your Car Modifications
One of the worst things that you can do as a way to try to save money with your insurance company is to lie about your vehicle. Although some people get away with an initial lie or two about their vehicle, the insurance company may have the right to terminate your contract if you do not tell them about all of the modifications that you made to your vehicle. It is always recommended to disclose all of the information about your car modifications because they will be able to see what changes you can make to the vehicle to save money.
Additionally, if you were to ever get into an accident, the insurance companies would make sure that you get reimbursed for everything that you had covered in your policy. If they find out after an accident has occurred that you made extra modifications that they were not aware of to your vehicle, they may refuse to make certain payments based on the fact that you further altered your vehicle. Insurance companies are looking to save every penny that they can and are going to inspect your car closely in the event of an accident – so don’t try to pull a fast one on them because they will likely find out when it matters most.
Getting into an Accident with a Modified Car
Certainly nobody wants to get into an accident with a modified car, or any car for that matter, but the truth is that it happens. Although insurance companies know that many modified street racing cars have a greater chance of getting into an accident, they assess each of their clients on an individual basis when deciding on the type of policy that they can offer as well as the price. When getting into an accident, the price that the insurance company will pay will typically be based on the amount of damage that is inflicted upon your car. Most insurance companies will give you the least amount of money that it takes to replace modified parts.
If the cost that it takes to fix up your car after an accident is a greater amount of money than the total value of your car, this usually results in a write off; similarly if your car is damaged to the point in which you are not able to drive it again, you will likely get a very lowball amount of money to help you replace the modified vehicle that you were driving. It really depends on the type of damages that are caused to your vehicle and whether or not they are worth repairing. Having a customized music system in your car may be very expensive because the subwoofer, head unit, and speaker system could be valued at thousands of dollars.
Similarly, if you had a customized engine installed and it is severely damaged to the point that it cannot function, then you may have to hope that you get enough money in return so that it can be replaced. There is usually a lot to keep track of when it comes to modified cars and this is why insurance companies protect themselves by making policies for modified cars more expensive than those for standard vehicles. Every accident that someone gets into with one of these cars results in extra money being paid out by insurers.
Right after an accident, most insurance companies will take the time to appraise the blue book value of your car by looking up information about it. They gather as much information as they can about your vehicle and then send it to a company that appraises the value of your car. After a little bit of time, the appraisal company sends information back to your insurance agency in regards to the estimated worth of your vehicle. This estimated worth is the amount of money that you will be receiving for accident compensation. Many times, this “estimate” that your insurer will give you will be on the low side and will seem like it isn’t fair. You should always do your own research to make sure that they are not trying to screw you out of money by giving you a poor price estimate. Take the time to look for vehicles that are similar to yours and see how much their estimated worth is so that you can get a good idea as to whether you are being offered a fair amount of money.
Considering Specialist Car Insurance Providers
Many times people find out that specialist providers (that are willing to take on a little bit extra risk) can sometimes offer lower rates than large corporate providers. Most people do not even realize that there are reliable insurers that have specialty markets for certain types of cars like: modified vehicles, antiques, imports, etc. You should do your own research to find out whether coverage provided by a specialist insurer could be exactly what you need for your modified vehicle.
It is always smart to read reviews of specialists on the internet so that you know whether or not they are reliable, have good customer service, etc. Many niche car insurance markets are not frequently talked about because there are significantly fewer people with modified cars in comparison to those with standard cars. If you want to hear about all of the advantages and disadvantages related to working with niche car insurance companies, you should take the time to consult a car insurance broker.
What to Know About Modified Car Insurance Quotes
Most people that are not “in the know” when it comes to car insurance will be shocked to find out that there is a pretty steep price increase for people that own and operate modified cars. You should keep in mind that although quotes may be fairly high priced, you should not let them scare you into avoiding car insurance altogether. Since you have modified your vehicle, you should make sure that you have the necessary insurance that it takes to protect yourself and your modified vehicle on the road. When you avoid insurance and get into an accident with a modified automobile, you can lose a lot of money because you will be paying out of your own pocket.
You can round up some modified car insurance quotes on the internet to get a rough estimate as to how much you will be paying for this type of insurance. Most of the time estimates are very useful because they can help you to decide on which company is going to offer you the best deal on a policy. Saving money is the biggest concern for most people that are getting modified car insurance because they know that this type of insurance is generally more expensive than average. By comparing prices from some companies online or contacting a representative from one of these companies, you can find out more about what you should get out of an insurance policy for your vehicle.
Keep in mind that even though seeing higher than average quotes may look somewhat scary, most people with modified cars are going to need insurance. If you are driving around in a vehicle that has been modified, hopefully you thought about the consequences of making modifications on your car insurance premiums before you made them. One mistake that many people make is having their vehicle modified without thinking about how the modifications may result in a price increase on their insurance.
Other Factors Determining Modified Car Insurance Prices
Not only will the type of your car (e.g. make and model) be taken into consideration by insurance companies when offering you a quote. They are also going to think about how much the modifications will cost to replace if you ever get into an accident. However, basic things like: your gender, age, income, credit score, and history as a driver will all usually be factored into the price that you are given for your policy. The reason that many of these variables are taken into account is because insurance companies are trying to accurately assess the risk that you pose to them.
On average, males tend to pay more for their car insurance prices than females. The reason that men pay more for insurance is because statistics seem to indicate that they tend to get into more violent accidents on the road than women. In particular, young males in their teenage years tend to have to pay the highest amount of money towards their insurance because they are more risky. So if you are a male driver, think about the fact that you will likely pay more than women for your insurance.
If you are a young driver, you will naturally pay more for your insurance than older drivers. Once again, statistics demonstrate the relationship between age and accidents – when drivers are younger, they make riskier decisions on the road, are more impulsive drivers, and have more overall risk. That is not to say that every single young person fits the generalizations that are made about young drivers, but the data does not lie. As you get older, you will notice the price of your insurance drop significantly in comparison to when you are a first time driver.
Driving Record and History
People with a lot of accidents and a history of traffic violations (i.e. “tickets”) are going to have higher costs associated with their car insurance. Individuals that are looking for modified car insurance and have a very risky driving history (as assessed by the insurance agency) they are going to pay significantly more money. Always do your best to maintain a good record and try to be an advocate for safe driving practices. Not only do you keep yourself safer when you follow the rules on the road, you make it safer for everyone else.
Types of Modifications
A lot of insurance companies are concerned with the type of modifications that you make to your car because they want to make sure that they are replaceable and so that they know how much money they will need to pay out if something like a customized engine breaks down and needs a replacement. Generally, the more modifications that are made to your car factor in with the overall price of them to determine how much the insurance company will need to charge to individuals that are interested in obtaining car insurance for modified cars.
Considering Car Modifications?
If you have not yet made car modifications, you may not want to make them after finding out that your insurance prices will increase. Hopefully if you are a person that is considering making modifications to your vehicle that you are able to understand the consequences of your actions and the fact that you may need to switch insurance providers. If you know for a fact that you are going to make some modifications to your vehicle, your auto insurance provider may require that you upgrade to a more comprehensive car insurance policy, or they may say that they need to increase the price that they charge for their coverage.
If you feel that the price increase is too much for you to deal with, be sure to take the time to figure out whether you should switch car insurance companies. Many times informing your current insurance company will simply result in a price increase. It is always a good idea to discuss your modifications with them to see whether they are charging a price that you think is fair. If you think that you are being ripped off or the price is not what you had in mind, you may want to discontinue doing business with them.
What to Keep In Mind Regarding Modified Auto Insurance
Remember, that although modified car insurance may be more expensive than regular insurance, it is worth getting if you plan on driving around your modified vehicle. There are still ways in which you can save money and there are still insurers that are willing to do business with people that have made modifications to their vehicle or multiple vehicles that they own. If you have a good history as a driver and good overall record, you can get a decent deal on this type of insurance. As with any type of car insurance, make sure that you compare quotes and companies to make sure that you are getting the deal that you had envisioned in the first place.