How much is car insurance for modified cars?

Car insurance for modified cars will typically be more expensive because you're creating an additional expense for your provider. If you're considering modifying your car, you'll want to talk to your insurance company first. It’s important to check what classifies as a modification and if it improves the quality of your car in such a way that can lower your rates. Learn more in our guide to auto insurance for modified cars below.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 17, 2020

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Many people enjoy modifying their cars for the look or challenge of it, and why not? Especially when having the same vehicle for years, it’s a nice change of pace to create add-on’s to your vintage or new car and personalize it the way only you see fit. But it’s also important to know that by modifying your car, you’re also creating an additional expense for your car insurance premiums and sometimes they can be more trouble of an expense than it’s worth.  As you prepare to modify your current vehicle, here’s what to consider before giving it the final OK.

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Research the Cost of Your Modification

If you are committed to modifying your car but concerned about how much your car insurance policy will increase, you can do several things. First, it’s important to check with your current or future car insurance companies and check into what classifies as a modification. While some modifications are considered a way to enhance performance others may be considered a way to improve the quality of your car. Which is which?

If you’re concerned with the price, it’s best to check with your insurance agent who can give you a good idea of the increase in price involved with your particular modifications. Some car insurance companies claim that any changes altering its original configuration is means to increase your premium, while others will feel differently. Some car insurance companies may even deny or cancel your coverage should the modifications be out of line with their acceptable risk formula.

What to Know Before Modifying a Car

There are a few rules of thumb when it comes to modifications and for the most part car insurance companies won’t budge. It’s important to know that any part of your vehicle that you alter for performance or that increases its value may increase the cost of your premium.  On the other hand many modifications can lower the safety risk of a vehicle in a car accident which can also increase premiums. Car insurance companies are not obligated to insure any vehicle and modified cars often up needed specialized car insurance.

One very important element of car insurance is notifying your car insurance company about any modifications made. In the event of an accident you may be denied a claim should the adjuster realize the car is not the same as the car insurance company agreed to insure. While this is a catch 22 situation you have to realize that auto insurance is not just a piece of paper to show law enforcement when pulled over but a real blanket of financial protection in a car accident. Always speak to your car insurance company before buying or making modifications to your car. If you need specialized car insurance then search for car insurance companies who provide modified car insurance. There are companies who specialize in modified car insurance and if you can afford to spend $10,000 on rims then you can likely find some room in your budget for a car insurance policy.

Finding Those Discounts

Even modified car owners can do things to lower their car insurance. While some discounts will be off the table most drivers can still often take advantage of discounts unrelated to the type of vehicle such as multi policy discounts or good driver discount.  When shopping around and comparing modified car insurance quotes, know that while it may be more difficult to find a rate that works for you, it is certainly not impossible. Don’t just stick with the large, well known car insurance companies but find referrals from friends, work associates or family. There are many smaller car insurance companies who offer great rates although you would never know it unless you asked around. So take the time to shop around and in the end, find a great deal that was worth the extra step or two it took to get there.

For many owners of modified cars the increased premiums are worth it. Depending on how important the look, value and performance of your vehicle is will guide you to make that decision but remember to consider all of your options. Compare as many car insurance companies as possible, ask about any available discounts such as preferred driving reduced rates or discounts for taking a safe driving course and continue to keep your eyes open for opportunities that fit your situation.

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