Get coverage for your modded car and protect your car’s upgrades.
Modified cars can be more expensive to insure, but increased competition among insurers means it’s still possible to get affordable coverage for your vehicle, as long as it’s street legal.
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Get car insurance for your modified car
Which car modifications are covered by insurance?
So you’ve added a hydraulic suspension to your Honda Civic, racing spoilers to your Camaro or a supercharger to your Cadillac. Now you’ve got to find insurance to cover it.
There are changes you can make to your car without having to change your insurance. Modification coverage varies by insurance companies, but in general:
Modifications that are generally covered
- Alloy wheels
- Bicycle racks
- Bull bars
- CD stackers
- Chrome exhaust systems
- Driving lights
- Leather seats
- Reversing cameras
- Roof racks
- Tow bars
Modifications that need additional coverage
- Custom paint work
- Roll bars or cages
- Racing harnesses
- Nitro or hydrogen fuel equipped engines
- Turbo or supercharged engines
- Sound systems like stereo, DVD or computers
- Auxiliary lights
- Custom tires, rims or spinners
For certain modifications, insurers will decide coverage on a case-by-case basis. If you’re customizing your car in a way that affects its performance or value, contact your insurer to find out if it’ll be covered — ideally before committing to the modification.
Adding a muffler to your car
Adding a new muffler to make your car a little quieter shouldn’t increase your rate. But if you’re replacing your entire exhaust system to boost your car’s performance, you’ll likely pay a higher rate — or be denied insurance altogether.
Adding a spoiler to your car
Purely cosmetic modifications generally don’t affect your insurance rates. But if you add a spoiler that either isn’t safe or significantly increases the value of your car, your insurance premium will go up.
Adding a sound system to your car
If you add an aftermarket sound system to your car, your insurer might not cover it if it’s stolen. If it is covered on your policy, you’ll likely see a rate increase.
If you’re thinking about upgrading your stereo, contact your insurer to find out if you can get it covered — and how much it’ll cost.
What type of insurance do I need?
You’ll still need coverage like liability or comprehensive to cover your customized car, but you’ll need additional insurance to cover modifications. Generally you have two options:
- Supplemental coverage. This is extra coverage offered for mods and aftermarket changes made to your car. The premium for this coverage depends on the insurer, but can cost up to 10% of the modifications. Some insurance companies pay up to $4,000 for customized parts and equipment coverage if those items need to be replaced or damaged.
- Classic or collectible car insurance. If you can’t find a carrier to give you the coverage your car needs, insurance companies like Hagerty, J.C. Taylor, Condon Skelly, Grundy and American National all specialize in providing coverage for collectible cars.
Should I consider agreed-value insurance for my modified car?
It depends. Most car insurance policies will pay the market value of a car’s make, model and condition, and is subject to depreciation. The money you’ve spent customizing your car isn’t reflected in its market value.
Agreed value is how much you and your insurer agree the car is worth. It takes into account both the money and time you put into customizations, making it the preferred option for many modified car owners.
Insuring your car at an agreed value generally costs more, but you’ll be covered if your car is totaled in an accident.
Modified car insurance for drivers under 25
Drivers younger than 25 find it hard to find affordable insurance for custom cars. Not only are they hit with the high cost of driving while young, but also the extra expenses of covering modifications. Insurance companies consider these risks high and it’s reflected in high premiums. Sometimes providers even refuse to provide coverage. If you’re a young driver with a modified car, and are having trouble getting insured, it’s helpful to:
- Compare your choices. Look at car insurance from specialty insurers, and not just the big names. They’ll consider things like your safe driving past, claims history and whether you have any driving offenses.
- Expect to pay more. Modified cars are more expensive to cover, regardless of your age. If you can pay higher deductibles, you could get a lower premium.
- Look for discounts. Some specialty insurance companies offer discounts to lower your premium. Consider things like defensive driving courses, maintaining a spotless record, multipolicy or choose a pay-as-you-go option.
Is it possible to get cheap coverage for modified cars?
It depends on how tripped up your car is. Like any car insurance policy, there are lots of ways to reduce the cost of your premiums:
- Drive less powerful or less expensive vehicles with lower premiums.
- Restrict the number and age of drivers on your policy.
- Look into pay-as-you-go policies.
- Increase your deductible for a lower premium.
- Benefit from security devices like car alarms or engine-cut systems.
- Save by bundling your insurance policies with one provider.
- Choosing a company that offers rewards for no claims.
- Insure your car’s agreed value rather than its market value.
- Look for online discounts for up to 20% savings on select policies.
Do I need to tell my insurer if I make modifications to my car?
Yes. If you don’t tell your insurer, they can reject your claim if you get into an accident — even if you’ve been paying your premiums. If your vehicle is under warranty and you don’t tell the insurer, you may void the warranty entirely.
It’s a good idea to tell your insurer about planned modifications before you make them so you can find out if you’ll be covered — and how much it’ll cost.
Modifications that are typically permitted
- Additional lighting
- Air shock absorbers
- Alarm systems
- Radio and stereo systems
- Roof racks
- Single tone air horns
- Stabilizer bars
Modifications that are typically not permitted
- Dark window tinting
- Loud exhaust systems
- Changes to the engine that do not fit the legal standard
- Illegal changes to the chassis
- Noncompliant changes to the tires
- Changes to the suspension that do not comply with legal standards
What to consider when finding insurance for your modified car
Here’s what to consider before deciding on insurance for your souped-up ride.
- Weigh risks and costs. Even if your insurer will cover you, the changes you raise your premium higher than you’re willing to pay — sometimes well over the value of the car.
- Talk to an agent. Anytime you make modifications to your car, it’s best to talk to an agent.
- Read the fine print. Look through your existing policy to better understand what things are included already.
- Get information in writing. To be sure that you have all of your modifications covered, your agent can provide a clear list of the policy through email or a letter.
- Be honest. Don’t try to hide changes made to your car. If your car isn’t insured for the right amount, you’ll lose the value of your modifications in the case of an accident. Your insurer also has the right to cancel your policy or deny a claim if you don’t disclose changes you made to your car.
Can I get discounts for a modified car?
Yes, car modifications that make your car safer or less likely to be stolen can decrease your insurance premiums. These include:
- Anti-theft devices, such as alarms or tracking devices.
- Safety devices like anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights or a seat belt added onto a classic car.
- Anti-accident technology including backup cameras or lane departure sensors.
Unlike standard parts which cost a set price to replace, you’ll pay more for custom parts — and insurers will charge more to cover them. The more extensive and expensive the modifications, the more you can expect to pay for your insurance premium.
The good news is that by shopping around and comparing your options, including the best providers and best discounts, you could save on your modified car insurance.
Frequently asked questions