Do Car Modifications Affect Insurance?
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How Car Modifications Can Impact Your Auto Insurance

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Some car modifications can increase auto insurance, while other upgrades or downgrades won’t affect it. Learning more about what could affect your policy and what won’t is essential, including some of the examples mentioned below. Regardless, you can always contact your insurance company to stay updated on the latest policy changes and prices. The experienced agents from Altra Insurance Services, a premier provider of auto insurance San Diego residents rely on for high-quality service, discuss how various modifications may affect your auto insurance.

Simple Modifications

Painting your vehicle or tinting its windows may not significantly increase your car insurance, but it would be best to verify before modifying. Changing your dashboard or adding alloy wheels is a minor upgrade that could lead to a less expensive insurance adjustment, but it will likely cause an adjustment. Most premium increases are due to the rise in value each change provides to your car, truck, or SUV.

The more expensive the part you’re replacing or customizing, the more attention it could require when repaired or replaced in the future. In addition to the higher cost of repairs, the modification could increase your vehicle’s value, leading to higher insurance costs.

Risky Customizations

Although a new paint job is an upgrade, it’s not the same as turbocharging. The latter is often considered a risky customization that increases insurance premiums. The upgrade could give your vehicle more power, make the engine quieter while driving, and increase fuel efficiency, especially if your car has a larger engine. As a result, your vehicle may be more appealing to thieves. Therefore, it’s considered a risky modification that leads to an increased auto insurance rate.

Discounted Changes

Modifications don’t always cause an increase in auto insurance. Some changes could lead to special discounts. This is due to various factors, including modifications that coincide with government changes or features that increase driver and passenger safety. For example, adding a security system, adaptive headlights, and parking sensors or rear cameras are all modifications that could lead to discounts because the upgrades might prevent accidents and injuries.

Many changes could also lower the need for future repairs, giving your family more financial discounts. Therefore, before going ahead with a vehicle modification, speak with your insurance provider to see what changes lead to discounts and what customizations don’t.

Modifications that Aren’t Covered

The value of your vehicle is typically what insurance companies use to estimate a premium. Modifications could alter your car’s value. An example is customizing the engine, which could require costly repairs or replacements in the future.

Failing to contact your insurance agent to verify whether upgrades are covered could lead to a denied claim because you don’t have comprehensive coverage to replace custom parts or premium equipment. To avoid this, always speak with your provider first to see what modifications are covered and to ensure those changes are approved, updated, and reflected in the vehicle’s new value.

Even if modifications you make to your car don’t factor highly into the cost of your insurance, there are plenty of other things that can. Learn about the factors that affect car insurance costs by reaching out to the experienced agents at Altra Insurance. San Diego drivers know they can trust our team to be there when they need assistance. For a free quote, give us a call today at (619) 404-6311.


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