Torque Cars

So you have a modified car

Discussion in 'General car Chat' started by TCJBOLDIE, 7 February 2019.

  1. TCJBOLDIE

    TCJBOLDIE Torque King

    Messages:
    4,582
    From:
    Brisbane
    Car:
    JB Starion
    I note many obviously non stock cars in my travels and often wonder if the drivers have advised their insurers of what they have changed and if the insurer has agreed to continue taking the risk and still cover them should it be involved in a crash.

    Note I don't say accident as to me an accident is unplanned pregnancy. This is what I used to say to High school students on defensive driver training days.

    I see stupidly low vehicles that won't be able to ride over a speed bump without scraping the undercarriage. they have severely reduced suspension travel and possibly much stiffer springs and dampers in an attempt to reduce bottoming out over read undulations and damaging the low hanging exhaust system.

    I also note some cars with stretched tyres that allow the tyre that needs serious negative camber to barely clear the guard and the wheel rim is outside the body line. and that brings me to ask IF in the event of a crash would having tyres fitted to a wider wheel than the tyre makers guidelines would cause the insurer to decline any claim.

    This may be in Lunchmoneys field of expertise :)
     
  2. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney The Torque Meister

    Messages:
    1,056
    From:
    Poole, UK
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    Very likely.
     
  3. stamford

    stamford Pro Tuner

    Messages:
    3,800
    From:
    Hampshire
    Car:
    MG ZS200
    Many of those mods will probably be the cause for the accident in the first place, altering the factory handling purely for looks doesn’t bode well.
     
  4. TCJBOLDIE

    TCJBOLDIE Torque King

    Messages:
    4,582
    From:
    Brisbane
    Car:
    JB Starion
    Lunchy my no 2 son works in insurance and tells me that IF the mods didn't in any way contribute to the crash they would most likely honor the claim.

    If you were assessing a claim where a car with undeclared mods was rear ended in would you advise the insurer deny a claim even though the modded vehicle was stationary at a red light??
     
    Last edited: 9 February 2019
  5. obi_waynne

    obi_waynne Administrator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    41,077
    From:
    Deal, Kent UK
    Car:
    A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
    Having been an insurance broker for 14 years you get to see quite a bit. In this situation you are at the mercy of the insurer.

    What they law says.
    If they issue a motor insurance certificate the road traffic act dictates that they must pay a claim against you made by a third party.

    What tends to happen outside of this legal requirement
    If they void your insurance cover they can, and have on occasion come after the policyholder for reimbursement of their outlay and expenses.
    • Most insurers will jump at a chance to avoid paying out your claim and non disclosure of a modification is a classic.
    • Most insurers will refuse to pay a claim if the modification is something they wouldn't have considered.
    • Some insurers may keep your insurance valid subject to you paying an additional premium.
    • When insurance is declared void by an insurer for reasons of fraudulent misrepresentation it becomes very hard to take out future policies with other insurers.
    So my advise is don't even chance it. Whilst waiting for your renewal date to declare material facts can be used as an excuse it's just not worth the risk.

    The wording on your proposal form is usually quite simple
    Has your car been modified?

    On the claim form it is much more expansive, typically along the lines of
    Has your car been modified, adapted or tuned or had parts fitted outside of the specification of the original manufacturer.

    Call me cynical but this always struck me as an attempt to take your premium and then seek excuses to avoid paying out in a claim.
     
    Lunchmoney likes this.
  6. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney The Torque Meister

    Messages:
    1,056
    From:
    Poole, UK
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    All depends. We could direct them to the fault insurer to claim direct as innocent party and void their cover for undisclosed mods, for example.
     
  7. TCJBOLDIE

    TCJBOLDIE Torque King

    Messages:
    4,582
    From:
    Brisbane
    Car:
    JB Starion
    Well there is a very clear warning from Obi and Lunchmoney for anyone considering modding their car so do it at your peril if you don't have or sought approval from your insurer beforehand.

    That is exactly why my old car in the pic had every mod engineered and my insurer was advised via Email of the mods so they are fully aware of exactly they were covering and they added the mods to the cover note and sent me confirmation that the additional mods were covered.
     
  8. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney The Torque Meister

    Messages:
    1,056
    From:
    Poole, UK
    Car:
    '98 JDM Impreza STI
    My, soon to be ex, company are running a project going after customers, past and present, trying to recover the millions (yes, millions) owed to us that previous management decided it would not be nice to enforce agreed payments from customers.
     
  9. TCJBOLDIE

    TCJBOLDIE Torque King

    Messages:
    4,582
    From:
    Brisbane
    Car:
    JB Starion
    That is a clear warning to anyone considering modifying/altering or changing anything on any insured vehicle from the way it was when it rolled off the production line.

    NOTE get approval BEFORE doing any mod IN WRITING and keep it in a file/safe place as it just may come in handy should your insurer try to deny any claim otherwise it may end in tears.

    PS As Judge Judy is wont to say on many occasions verbal contracts/approvals are as good as the paper they are written on :)
     
    Lunchmoney likes this.
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