Car Insurance for modified cars - tips and a guide

obi_waynne

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Points
887
From
Deal, Kent UK
Car
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
Here is a long overdue thread. Car insurance - all policies state "Has the car been modified, altered or adapted from the manufacturers original specification or has it been tuned.

All insurers need to know if a car has been modified. The stats of the insurers generally show that modified cars are involved in more claims, not just accidents but there is a theft risk. There is also the possibility that lower suspension or wider wheels could adversely affect the handling of the car so the model they rated and gave a group to does not apply to your unique vehicle. So an underwriter needs to agree 'terms' of cover.

Even stickers could represent a 'Moral hazard' to the insurers. Failure to notify insurers could render your insurance invalid leaving you to face prosecution for failure to insure your vehicle or if a claim is paid on your behalf they could well ask for reimbursement of amounts paid out for you so even if you are Third Party Only you could lose out.

Always keep a copy of all correspondence sent/recieved in response to a modification being notified.

Insurers may insure car at normal terms (no extra premium), Apply terms (extra premium, & or higher excess & or agreement to replace modified parts with standard parts.

State honestly what you have done but note that a SPORTS EXHAUST is the same thing as a 3inch bore stainless steel exhaust with a 25 year guarantee. (One sounds much better to an insurer than the other.) As does a high performance air filter and washable direct replacement air filter. If a chip increases MPG state this as a big reason rather than a side effect and then state that it also gives slightly more power as a secondary reason.

They will also look at the base car - diesels are favoured over petrol. A £500 car with a £1000 ICE install and £2000 worth of 20 inch alloy wheels is an obvious increased theft risk and most insurers would refuse this unless you agree that they can replace the stolen items with standard parts.

Insurers want to see enthusiasts that love cars and look after them rather than the boy racer who wants to impress his mates in the 7/11 car park.

Getting cover first then applying modifications later to the car often means the insurer will listen to you whereas they would refuse a new person with no record. Buying an already modified car is also a good bet - you didn't do the mods so theoretically are not so much of a risk.

Modified friendly insurers - Norwich Union, Adrian Flux (TC members get a discount on this link or this dedicated number 0800 198 8998) - if you have any others please post them here. Many Lloyds syndicates will be willing to listen and offer you terms.

UPDATE for 2011:
We've teamed up with Tiger®.


Tiger.co.uk® is a motor insurance comparison site offering insurance comparison from over 130 brands across car, van and bike. The site is completely independent, features a unique Easyfill® form and aims to offer online quotes whatever your circumstances.

Here is the link to our exclusive price comparison website: Tiger

Update for 2012
We are now partnering with Sky Insurance a modified friendly insurer offering our members discounts of up to 20%!

You should find the deals competitive and feel free to use the free number to get quotes via Call connection 0800 902 0602* (This number is not an insurer but they will help you find the best deals without you having to ring round.)

*Call Connection opening hours are from 08:30 - 20:00 Mon - Fri, 09:00 - 17:00 Sat, Closed Sun. Calls may be recorded and monitored. Calls to 0800 numbers are free from standard UK landlines.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

HDi fun

TC ModFather
Points
637
From
Buckinghamshire UK
Car
Passat 2.0 TDi
If you're car is modified in any way you MUST tell your insurer. Insurance companies and underwriters themselves are wising up to the opportunities available for modifying cars to give substantial increases in power and torque.

It's not so much that they don't want to insure you, but please do understand that insurance companies are businesses. Like any business, they operate to make a profit. If they can avoid meeting a claim they will do so. Non disclosure is not defensible by pleading ignorance.

You'll find underwriters more accomodating if you can provide evidence of the mods carried out, by whom they were carried out and the resultant increase in power delivery.

I drive a Peugeot 406 with the 2.2 16v diesel engine. It's been lifted (by means of an ECU re-map) from 136bhp to a healthy 192bhp, with about 330lbft of torque on offfer - yep, that's right 330 and, no, I have not confused this with Nm. As such, it goes like a bloody missile. Even punchy 2.5 to 3.0 litre V6 petrols can feel lame by comparison. It's the torque that you're driving, yet we all talk power! Never done an official 0-62 test, but an unofficial one gives about 7.8 seconds! The best bit is the midrange grunt - 50 to 70, about 3 seconds IN FOURTH!!

Modern turbo-diesel units and superbly receptive to ECU tuning. Please avoid the dreadful DIY boxes - they're likely to destroy the fuel pump.

My insurer is happy to cover the car, obviously for a slightly higher premium, but it's nice to relax and know that I have played fair and safe by all parties.
 

cheryl_88

Torque Junkie
Points
70
i completly agree with u, it is safe to no that your completly insured, howeva, why is it, that when i tried to insure my car, because i have onli just passed my test, i had alot of trouble finding a company that wud insure me knowin that my car had alloys and a body kit, i dont think this is fair. i understand that rates may go up, but it givs the impression that we cant have the cars we want as insurance is too high! opinions any1?
 

obi_waynne

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Points
887
From
Deal, Kent UK
Car
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
The insurance market is fragmented into specialist areas. One market for young drivers another for modified cars. If you fall into 2 markets then the number of insurers that offer cover reduces to just a few. As soon as you fall outside the MR AVERAGE the insurers get very picky as these are often the cars that have claims which is something they want to avoid. It does seem unfair but that is life as they say.
 

obi_waynne

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Points
887
From
Deal, Kent UK
Car
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
Nothing at all. A modified car is more expensive to fix as the bodykits cost more and are harder to get than standard parts. :shock: There is usually a special paint job involved as well which can be a nightmare to match up. The modded car is more attractive to thieves and vandals (its - not me this is a statistical fact). Sometimes cars suspension and wheels are not set up properly and the car is more dangerous to drive or harder to handle than the standard car that the insurance companies rated the premium on. So your not more likely to have an accident but you are more likely to have an expensive claim than most! :cry:
 

p4paco

Tuner
Points
70
From
london
norwich union did me proud

i'm with Norwich union.
when i told them about my mods, they didnt even raise an eyebrow.
the chap said i can have "UP TO 3 MODIFICATIONS" with no additional surcharge on my premium. :D but they're not interested in covering my ice install. they will only pay out upto £500 for ICE/stereo
their service is TOP notch, my golf Had a misfortunate ending, so i've been through the processes.

i dont think anyone will notice that a car has been remapped Mr HDI FUN, because it would be a very long winded process, they would have to download the data on the ECU an compare it with another data map from anothe car EXACTLY the same as yours. and Manufacturers often change specs/ hardware suppliers etc over the years of building the same model.
so it is very difficult. :lol:
in my experience
the insurance engineer walks around the car for the condition, looks under the bonnet, wheels, and scrutinizes the accident damage and then checks the mileage to put a value on te car..

Nobody checked the ECU on the golf. Remaps dont really leave any evidence.
i would advise everyone to tell them abot any other Mods though.
and like Waynne said;
be careful to discribe your mods in their best light.
Coz Insurers like car enthusiasts more then Boy racers.
 

HDi fun

TC ModFather
Points
637
From
Buckinghamshire UK
Car
Passat 2.0 TDi
My insurance has gone up steeply this year. Sadly those of us driving mildy modified cars are being punished for doing so. At least, that's how it appears. Sadly there's so many people out there who have no cover at all, even with stock cars.

It seems a shame that enthusiasts, such as ourselves on this forum, are being punished for declaring everthing up-front.

Maybe it's time to lobby the insurance underwriters for a fairer deal.

Why should you, and I, pay through the nose so that someone else can drive around with no road tax, insurance or MOT cert in a vehicle that's not maintained properly?
 

obi_waynne

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Points
887
From
Deal, Kent UK
Car
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
It does seem unfair. I spent 14 years of my life working in insurance and got to see the other end but I'm still not going to defend them. Shop around for the best deal is about all you can do.
 

Massive

Torque Master
Points
72
From
Weir
Car
Clio 172 Cup
yea, im with endsliegh, i told em i had a dvd player, and they just cover 500 for that stuff, havent had anything done yet to tell them, but they seem really cheap insurance for me, about a grand less than most others
 

Pixel

Road Burner
Points
70
From
Swansea, Wales
Car
Ford Fiesta Zetec-S
the AA is like M&S insurance its only sutible if your over 35
never tried adrian flux but think i will have to this year
I guess like a lot of companies, they just hate young drivers. Its just most companies such as Direct Line showed me the door because I'm not 21+. Even though it was a high figured quote, I'm surprised AA gave me one at all!
 

pgarner

TC ModFather
Moderator
Points
417
From
Lockerbie, SW Scotland
Car
Octy smoke machine
yeah direct line chucked me off their website when i tried to get a quote
the aa for a 1.4 civic that cost £4000 think it was around £7k mmmm
 

k3ogh

Tuner
Points
65
Car
pug 306 1.4
try e-modified car insurance i found them cheap mods include 16" bk racing alloys k+n induction kit lexus lights powerflow sports exhaust lowered 35 mil on spax springs and shocks big step down from 1600 only 580 with them 1 year ncb
 

Pixel

Road Burner
Points
70
From
Swansea, Wales
Car
Ford Fiesta Zetec-S
yeah direct line chucked me off their website when i tried to get a quote
the aa for a 1.4 civic that cost £4000 think it was around £7k mmmm
Worst thing about getting the online DL quote is that when they say they cant quote you right now, you cant go back and change the car. You have to close the window and re-type all the details.
 

pgarner

TC ModFather
Moderator
Points
417
From
Lockerbie, SW Scotland
Car
Octy smoke machine
dont know about that after they chucked me i never went back. did the same with the father in law foned him up and asked if he was looking at changing his policy it was all fine and well until he added the wife as soon as he said that she had pass plus the phone went dead
 
Points
67
From
Swansea
Car
Skoda Fabia vRS
The hassle young drivers like me and Pixel have is trying to insure faster cars online. I must have tried to get an insurance quote with almost every insurance company. Currently i'm trying to get quotes for a Fabia VRS which I'm hoping to get in a few months so I'm putting in that i have 2 yrs NCB because by the time I can afford the car I will do. Very few companies will insure, the comparison sites are useless IMO. Always give stupid quotes. Funniest quote I had was for my 1st car, a MK3 Astra 1.4. The highest quote was £8401!! :amazed: and the lowest was £3.5k

The only insurance company who give a realistic quote is Swiftcover.com who have quoted £740. Only thing that puts me off with them is that they are online only and you even print off you insurance cover note. Has anyone dealt with them before?
 

bicko

Wrench Pro
Points
0
From
merseyside
Car
fiesta 1.3 wrc
wow thats painfull, have you tried "moneysupermarket.com" all the quotes i got were above 3grand for my fizzer, perceveerence got it down to £1455 which is a grand cheaper than last year, and thats with all my mods declared!! but i know how you feel my 1st insurence policy was £2600 an that was for a sierra 1.6 that was so bleedin slow
 

obi_waynne

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Points
887
From
Deal, Kent UK
Car
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
The crazy thing is that when you get a year older the ones that gave a silly quote are now interested and you have to do the whole market wide trawl again.
 

HDi fun

TC ModFather
Points
637
From
Buckinghamshire UK
Car
Passat 2.0 TDi
All insurance underwriters HATE car insurance. And any excuse to inflate premiums will be used. As will they use any excuse to refute a claim. This applies across the insurance business in general and stands to reason.

Car insurance is a necessary evil for insurance underwriters - if it was not available then no one could go anywhere in their cars and thereby not be able to afford to buy any other insurance service because they couldn't get to work in order to earn the money required to pay for that service or policy.

Modified cars are difficult for underwriters. How do they quantify the owner/driver? Not qualify - that's different.

You might think that people who modify cars are all intent on going as fast as possible at all times and therefore make the risk/stakes higher.

But, you could argue that driver/owners of modified cars have a better attitude to driving standards and safety. It's fair to say that anyone who modifies their car(s) has an interest in their driving of them. Perhaps they take more care than someone who drives a standard vehicle?

If you have a good history then you shouldn't have problems getting insurance for a modified car with a sensible insurer.

Don't buy on price of policy alone. But don't be ripped off either.

I've been with Privilege for 10 years (it's a Direct Line company) and they have been more than accomodating.

Endsleigh are currently offering me a guaranteed saving of £70 upon taking a policy with them. So, I made the call. They wanted all my details.

I said "NO, you don't need that. I just tell you the price that Privilege has quoted for renewal and you can subtract the £70 from it."

They didin't like that at all. yet that's the offer they made.
 

Prince

Torque King
Points
242
From
Northampton, England
Car
BMW E36 318is Coupe
I insured my first car with Direct Line, then switched to Endsleigh when I bought my Civic. I'll probably be switching to Adrian Flux next term as they seem to more accomodating to modified cars. Endleigh refused to quote me for the planned engine! I enquired about upgraded brakes as well...which actually increased the premium by £100!!
 
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