Modifying your car can be a cool way to customize your look and be different from the rest. There are many ways you can modify your car to give it some flair. Some people even have their vehicles modified to accommodate certain disabilities. You can have it custom painted, get features added to it, or even improve its performance. If you want to make your car safer, there are modifications for that too!

So, then the question remains: How does this affect your car insurance? No matter what changes you make to your car, you still have to have insurance on it. In some cases, your car might be more expensive to insure once it’s been modified. Let’s discuss the details on car modifications and how they can affect your car insurance rates.

What Counts As A Modified Car?

There are a lot of ways to have your car modified. A modified car is one that has been altered, either aesthetically or for safety accommodations. Here is a list of some of the most common car modifications:

  • Installed parts to accommodate disabilities.
  • Custom paint jobs.
  • Custom wheels.
  • Lights
  • Seats and harnesses for racing.
  • Stereo systems.
  • Supercharger or turbocharger.
  • Suspension upgrades.
  • Winch system.
  • Window tinting.
  • Lift kits.
  • Chrome rims or bumpers.

As long as you own a car, you are allowed to do it what you please. Keep in mind, however, that altering your car can invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty. Make sure that you talk to your car dealer or read the fine print in your car’s paperwork before you start making adjustments.

What Is Modified Car Insurance?

Before we can discuss the type of car insurance you might need for a modified car, you will need to know how car insurance works. Typically, car insurance is there to protect you if you get into an accident that results in damage to either people or cars. Depending on what kind of insurance you have, it will usually cover most of the damages following an accident.

While this is true for cars that haven’t been altered, some insurance companies will not cover the damages on a car that has been modified. This means that if you get in a traffic accident, and you don’t have car insurance coverage on the modifications, your insurance company will only cover up to the original manufacturer version of the car. It’s important to be aware of this before getting modifications, since it could be a significant forfeiture if your modified parts are compromised.

Car Insurance Coverages For Modified Cars

If you just found out that your standard car insurance policy won’t cover your modified vehicle, there is still hope. You may have two options for covering custom parts:

  • Supplemental coverage: A lot of insurance providers offer supplemental coverage for modifications and custom parts. Some companies will pay up to $4,000 for parts and equipment that were not originally on the vehicle.
  • Classic/collectible car insurance: Certain insurance carriers specialize in covering collectible and classic cars. This is a good option for you if you your car meets the criteria. Every insurance company has their own unique set of qualifications in order to be covered. Check with different agents and car insurance companies to see if your car qualifies.

How To Save Money On Insurance With Car Modifications

While some car modifications are going to cost you more to insure, there are some that might actually help you save money on car insurance. If you’ve had your car altered for safety reasons, you might get a discount on your insurance premium. Ask your insurance provider if you qualify. In the meantime, here are some other tips for saving money on insurance with your modified car:

  • Complete a state-approved driver safety course.
  • Cut back on your mileage.
  • Install anti-theft devices to reduce the chances of your car being stolen.
  • Have multiple vehicles on your car insurance policy.
  • Have your home insured by the same company or buy renter’s insurance from the same company.
  • Raise your deductible.
  • Show proof that you are a member of a car club.
  • Store the car away during long periods of time that it will not be used, and able to show proof.

If your current car insurance provider can’t cut you a break after you have installed car modifications, you might want to shop around and search for options. Every company differs in how they handle this type of situation, so you might be able to find an insurer that better suits your needs.

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