HOW WILL MODIFICATIONS AFFECT MY CAR INSURANCE

Introduction – Modifying your car

Customization to your car adds a personal touch, true, but heavy modifications can cause a financial burden by affecting your car insurance. Certain modifications you make to the car can impact the amount of insurance premium you pay as the replaced or upgraded car parts can be too expensive. So, it is best first to know and think about the potential costs you may have to bear once you make changes to your car. Let's understand in-depth how will modifications affect your car insurance.

Types of modifications that can be done to the car

Changing the car in terms of design or performance generally falls under-car modifications that customize a car. Some basic types of car modifications include;

  • Exterior design modifications like changing or adding paints and graphics, use of creative lights, and appealing bodywork on the bonnet, panels, tyres, or flared wings.
  • Internal design modifications like upgrading the dashboard, enhancing the car seats, adding a music system, making alterations in the air conditioning, and even adding accessories like Bluetooth or dual horns.
  • Performance modifications like changes to the engine, air filter, or exhaust system that have a direct effect on the performance of the car.
  • Significant modifications like converting the fuel type by getting a CNG kit fitted to a petrol using car.
  • Other modifications like adding nitrous oxide to increase car speed, fitting broader tyres for better stability, and adding an anti-theft device to improve the security factor.

How do modifications affect car insurance?

When it comes to modifications to a car, out of third-party liability and a comprehensive car insurance policy, only the latter one gets affected. When you purchase a comprehensive car insurance policy, your car is valued, and the amount of premium is evaluated. So, as you modify your car in any way, the car value may increase. Hence it would be best if you informed your insurer about any car modifications done at your end.

Suppose you fail to inform the insurer and your car suffers damage due to an accident or natural calamity, then the insurer has the right to either reject the claim or make a partial payment based on the parts originally covered in the plan and not the modified ones. As you inform the insurer of any modifications, they can re-inspect the car and make the necessary changes in the modified car insurance plan.

Remember, a standard comprehensive car insurance plan does not cover externally-fitted parts meaning the parts that are not fitted by the car manufacturer. However, you can choose to add them to the plan with the help of an add-on for the accessories cover. But keep in mind, this can increase the amount of premium of your plan.

 

Car changes that affect the insurance premium

Car changes that don’t affect the insurance premium

Supercharging

Lights addition/ alteration

Nitrous oxide

Replacement seats

Exhaust system

Normal paint work

Air filter

Alloy wheels

Bonnet

AC installation

Flared wings

Parking sensor

Panels and Spoilers

 

Tinted windows

 

Change of dashboard

 

Uprated brakes

 

Specialised paint work

 

Music system

 

 

Documentation that is required when you modify your car

When you make any car modifications you need to inform the insurer and submit the following documents to get your modified car insurance plan in hand;

  • Request letter from the policyholder
  • Registration certificate
  • Invoice copy car modifications done
  • Report of vehicle inspection
  • Premium amount

 

Conclusion

Simple modifications to the car, like changing the seat cover, adding alloy wheels, or any lights, generally do not affect your car insurance policy. The car modifications that do not increase the risk of accidents or theft of a valuable car part will not affect the car insurance policy. So, make sure to know how and which modifications affect your car insurance before making any changes to your car.

 

FAQs – Frequently asked questions

Let's take a look at some frequent queries on how will modifications affect my car insurance;

Q1. If I get a paint job done on my car, should I inform my car insurance company about it?

Yes, if you choose an entirely new color for the car or are adding some graphics, you need to inform the insurer about it. If you are simply repainting the car with the same color paint, then it is okay not to notify the insurer as it won't affect the car value in any way.

Q2. Are fully tinted windows permitted in India?

No, fully tinted windows are not acceptable in India. Any car windshield and the rear glass must have at least 70% visibility, and any other windows must have more than 50% visibility as per the law in India.

Q3. If one of the family members has recently suffered a disability, and I modified my car to make it more accessible for the member, then do I need to inform the insurer about such modification?

Yes, it would be best if you informed the insurer about any significant modifications. However, in such cases, it is most unlikely that such change will increase the premium. Primarily in such cases, insurers tend to decrease the premium. But don’t forget to read the terms and conditions of the modified plan carefully.

Q4. If I wish to cover my car with graffiti, in that case, do I have to inform the insurer, and will it increase my car insurance premium?

No, your car insurance premium may not get affected by such modification. However, it is best to inform your insurer of any change done to your car to avoid any hassle later or during the time of claim.

Q5. In case the insurer is unaware of any car modifications, what happens?

On verification and checking a car value, an insurance company drafts your car insurance policy and premium amount. In case any modification is done that changes the value of the car, at the time of claim, the insurer will inspect the car. If there are any significant changes that were uninformed, they have the right to reject the insurance claim as it changes the value of the car and its premium amount.

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