Lower Insurance Premiums for Modified Cars?

“What impact will declaring insurance modifications have on your premiums?”

We have always prominently warned drivers to declare all modifications to their insurance company. Indeed failure to do so can invalidate your cover, leaving you open to prosecution and facing heavy repair bills when you make a claim.

It would still appear that some drivers are holding back from modifying their car for fear of facing higher premiums, and there is a worrying minority who attempt to hide their modifications from their insurers.

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Specialist insurance broker Adrian Flux, based in the UK, recently sent out a recent press release claiming that declaring modifications to your car can actually cut your insurance costs by over 60%. The study they released is worth reading on this link.

They deal with over 30 different insurers and have established themselves as a popular provider of car insurance to the modified car community over the last 45 years.

We decided to dig a little deeper into this and see how the reality and experience of this specialist modified car broker, and the urban myth surrounding insurance for modified cars compares.

So firstly let’s look at the myth about insurance premiums going up when you modify a car.

This has come about primarily due to the way insurance works. Underwriters use a pool of statistics to calculate the average cost of claims expected from a given driver and their car.

Many traditional insurers decline cars that are modified, often because they do not have a pool of statistics to work from involving modified cars so will decline cover or charge more.

But the key is to avoid these traditional insurers and go to a specialist who understands modified cars. When you start talking to specialist insurers that openly welcome modified cars, the statistics they work from give a very different picture from what the urban myth would suggest.

The figures quoted show that savings of over £1250 can be achieved on a heavily-modified car insured on a fully comprehensive basis.

Gavin Hill the standard and niche floor underwriting manager at Adrian Flux explained that drivers who modify a car have often invested a great deal of time and money into their car. He explains, “we know someone who has modified their car will take even greater care than usual in driving and looking after their vehicle.”

This has an impact on the statistics and insurance underwriters are able to offer better rates to drivers that fit into these positive statistics.

Because car enthusiasts that have modified their car are less likely to make a claim they qualify for better rates.

Few people who have invested so much time and money in their car would risk trying to hide this fact from their insurers. Those that do so find out it is an expensive mistake when they need to make a claim because nearly all mods show up very easily on a routine vehicle inspection.

Some modifications can actually improve the vehicle safety, particularly those that benefit the handling, braking or vehicle lighting. We would recommend you seek out a specialist insurer who knows modified cars well for advice and a competitive quotation.

The examples used in the press release show that a driver who fits the right criteria, aged 24 driving a Seat Leon Cupra, saw a reduction in premium from £1960 to £699 when declaring the modifications carried out.

This particular example fitted the following modifications: suspension, exhaust, induction kit, tinted windows, remap, uprated brakes, intercooler, manifold, alloy wheels, interior changes and vinyl wrap. These are all fairly typical modifications, looking at our member's vehicles and feedback we get from our readers.

Even single modifications can result in premium reductions, with a 43 year old plumber who fitted a dump valve to his turbocharged Vauxhall Astra seeing a reduction of £50.

The most common modifications that drivers carry out are alloy wheels, exhaust system changes, and uprated suspension (with lower and stiffer springs).

We would strongly recommend a phone call to an insurance specialist, where you can talk about your modifications in detail and allow them to approach specialist insurance underwriters to obtain a quotation.

Any undeclared modification to your car, which can include any change to the standard factory specification, can result in your insurance being invalidated when you make a claim.

This could leave you facing charges for driving without insurance and being ultimately responsible for damages from any other parties involved in the incident.

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