Whether you are buying a brand new car from a dealer that has had some extras added, purchasing a second hand vehicle that has been modified in some way or are modifying your existing car, you need to be aware that you must notify the insurance company you either have or want to arrange cover with. Whilst many of the major motor insurance companies will be happy to provide you with cover, there are some modifications that may mean you need to arrange insurance with a specialist provider.
If you do not notify the insurer of any modifications you could find that, in the event of a claim, it is declined by the insurance company leaving you with a bill of possibly many thousands of pounds to have to find the funds for yourself.
The British Insurers Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in partnership with Ageas has produced a Report On Modified Vehicles document that makes for interesting reading and could prove quite an eye opener for a lot of people. The report can be viewed via the biba.org.uk website but below we mention some of the highlights.
Some insurers take the view that a modification to a car is where the manufacturers’ standard specification has been altered in any way with this also including optional extras that have been fitted to the vehicle either by the dealer or the manufacturer of the car when it was brand new where it results in its appearance, attractiveness, value or performance being improved making it more appealing to thieves. Other insurance companies take the view that a vehicle can be classed as modified if any changes have been made to it since it was originally supplied by the manufacturer of the vehicle.
As an example, if you had expensive leather seats fitted as an optional extra and this increases the value of the car then you should notify the insurer. Most insurers would cover this extra but may result in an increase in premium. However, if you had something fitted or done to the car that improved engine performance then you should be aware that not all insurance companies will consider covering the vehicle so it may be necessary to try to source cover from a specialist insurer. In this case, not only may you have to pay more for the cover but also you may be subject to a higher excess. If you had locking wheel nuts added then it would be a good idea to notify your insurer with most insurance companies finding such a modification acceptable and it is unlikely your premium would increase.
There are so many potential modifications such as a rear spoiler, special paintwork, a badge stating that the performance has been increased, suspension changes, wider wheels and tyres, larger speakers, roll bars, flared wheel arches, engine chip, exhaust system changes and uprating the brakes to name but a few.
If you are considering making any modifications or adding extras to a vehicle or you are aware any have been made or fitted then inform the insurance company or broker no matter how minor they may seem. If you are buying a used car then ask the person who is selling the car if there have been any extras added or if it has been modified in any way. Make sure that any modifications are noted on your insurance documents.
You will be pleased to hear that here at AIB Insurance we have many years experience in arranging specialist cover on modified vehicles. So, why not give us a call on 02380 268 351 and speak with a knowledgeable member of our team who will discuss your requirements in detail and do all that he or she can to source suitable competitive cover.