Insurance and car modifications

15 06 2007

Following on from the car accident post, this was my response to a question re car modifications and insurance. Sorry I can’t be more specific regarding particular mods but I’d welcome any questions via email where I can elaborate off the record a bit more.

It really depends on the insurer. The rule is that if its roadworthy then we’ll accept it. That includes chips, (not sure if intercoolers are legal) suspension mods, rims, exhausts, etc. Problems arise where you have lots of different mods and that put you outside of the guidelines. If we do accept them they will generally put your premium up and maybe your excess but at least your car is insured and so are your mods.Insurers generally come down harder on performance enhancing mods but heaps of cosmetic stuff like rims aftermarket body kits etc can have a big impact too. Most insurers wouldn’t touch for example a commodore dressed up like a clubsport. One of the criteria is the overall market value of your car. The higher the value of the car generally to more mods you can do. If you’ve got a $5,000 s**t box and put $3000 rims on there, then good luck getting insurance.

The cheaper the insurer the stricter they will be with mods. Companies that specialise in modifications generaly have higher premiums and higher excesses because of the higher risk. Cheaper companies are tyring to keep their risk base as low as possible and enforce your duty of disclosure more strictly. If you don’t disclose modifications and think you can get away with it its not a good plan. The reason the cheap companies can be cheap is that they will not pay out on a claim if you haven’t been upfront with them.

Its always worth shopping around and ringing your insurance company before you do the modification. They’ll be able to tell you what effect it will have on your policy. No insurance company will insure a mod that is not roadworthy, so take that as gospel. You basically have to consider what benefit the mod is going to give vs how it will screw with your insurance. There’ll come a point, if you do heaps of mods where no company will touch you.

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Don’t need to compensate for anything?

10 05 2007

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If you live in Australia and don’t feel the need to drive a car with an engine that compensates for deficiencies in other areas then this site may be for you. OzHotHatches is a new forum for those of us who drive cars that can actually make it round a corner and don’t burn hundreds of litres of fuel in the process.

You can discuss new models, get tuning tips and have a look at what other people are driving. Most of the discussion seems to be around Euro models which get a bit neglected in Aus.

Ozhothatches.com