Motor Insurance for Modified Vehicles – Make Sure You’re Covered

When we choose our motor insurance, many of us don’t give much thought to how modifying our vehicle could affect our policy. However, some drivers have found out the hard way that when they come to make a claim they aren’t covered just because they have added a roof rack or new tinted windows.

In this blog, Clover Insurance highlight some of the key areas to consider if you want to guard against being caught out in this way, whether you are buying a new vehicle or modifying an existing one.

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Optional Extras Offered by the Manufacturer

If you opt for extras when you buy your vehicle, such as leather seats and alloy wheels, then most of these should be covered by a standard policy.

However, even if they are fitted by the vehicle’s original manufacturer, they can still be considered modifications. Some insurers define modification as ‘any alteration to the vehicle’s standard specification’, while others say the term should only include changes which improve ‘its value, performance, appearance or attractiveness to thieves’.

Either way, if the changes which have been made increase the vehicle’s value, you may have to pay a higher premium.

After-Market Accessories

Modifications such as tow bars, luggage racks or lockable wheel nut, won’t necessarily be offered by the original manufacturer so you may have to get a specialist to fit them, or do it yourself.

Whoever carries out the work, you should always mention it to your insurer. Most alterations won’t result in any in additions to your premium, but it may depend on whether the modification is classed as temporary or permanent.

Buying Second Hand

If you are buying your car from a private individual rather than a garage, then you need to be sure that the previous owner hasn’t made any changes to the vehicle. Many buyers won’t necessarily be able to tell the difference if the wheels or tyres aren’t those which were originally fitted.

In cases like these, you should always ask the seller if they have made any alterations to the vehicle. This way, you are more likely to be protected under the terms of the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 (CIDRA). The Act means individuals are required to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to insurers when taking out a policy.

For added protection, you should arrange your insurance via a broker like Clover Insurance.

The Main Modifications to Look Out For

Any alterations or additions which can affect your insurance policy, according to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, include:

  • Any rear spoilers or body kits;
  • Anything which alters the set-up of the suspension or the steering;
  • Changes to the paintwork, including any new decals, logos or murals, including so-called ‘go-faster stripes’;
  • Different wheels or tyres, including winter tyres
  • Updated brakes;
  • Alterations to the engine transmission or exhaust;
  • And any exterior or interior body modifications. These range from adding roll bars, fitting tinted windows (they must let a minimum amount of light through, and there are different rules for front and rear windows and windscreens), changing the original seats and altering the configuration of the pedals – for instance if the vehicle is going to be used by a disabled driver.

Even if the alteration, such as a new stereo system, phone kit or satnav has no effect on how fast your vehicle goes, it could make it more attractive to thieves and a greater insurance risk. So, if in doubt, declare it!

Fully Comprehensive Motor Insurance from Clover Insurance

If you are worried about modifying your vehicle, whether it is a car, a van or a motorcycle, then the best solution is to arrange fully comprehensive motor insurance with Clover Insurance, who have customers in Herts, North London and across the UK. We will be able to arrange a policy which covers many alterations which have already been made to the vehicle, as well as any changes you would like to add.

Our sophisticated computer systems can check which insurance policies are currently on the market that meet your unique needs, and we have an excellent relationship with our trusted panel of insurance companies. So, as well as enjoying our high level of personal service, you can also be sure that whatever policy we offer will be competitively-priced.

In the case of heavily-modified vehicles, such as those carried out by classic car enthusiasts, we may be able to source specialist cover which won’t be offered by the mainstream insurance companies.

If you would like to know more about Clover Insurance’s services, then follow this link or call us on either 020 8805 1121 or 01992 630095.

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