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Car Mods And Insurance Implications


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#1 NorthSussex

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:52 PM

Recently there was a broadcast on Radio 4 about car mods and the implications on your insurance cover. It was stated that some insurance companies were starting to refuse claims after an accident if the car had been modified, and the insurance company had not been informed in writing describing the modifications; in a worse case scenario, the company could claim that you were under insured and the policy would be void, due to the fact that they had been deliberately misled as to what they were insuring; The result of having an insurance policy declared void would mean that it would be very difficult to obtain any insurance in the future. The advice was to inform your insurance company of any changes made to the car above the original specification however small.

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#2 Stoney871

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 11:10 PM

Very valid point Stormin.
A lot of people get caught out by this.

#3 vinnyvangough

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 01:52 PM

I thought it was common sense.

ANY mod i do to my car is declared.

I am with Adrian Flux and when i told them my RS2000 had coilovers and different wheels fitted they noted it on the policy and it did NOT increase at all.

On my Mk2 Escort i have filled in a modified vehicle form so every mod on the car is covered.

#4 NorthSussex

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:35 PM

I thought it was common sense.

ANY mod i do to my car is declared.

I am with Adrian Flux and when i told them my RS2000 had coilovers and different wheels fitted they noted it on the policy and it did NOT increase at all.

On my Mk2 Escort i have filled in a modified vehicle form so every mod on the car is covered.

It should be common sense, but how many people bother to inform their insurance company, and how many know the grief they will have if your insurance company void your insurance? An insurance that has been declared void will not only prevent you insuring your car but will cause problems with house insurance as well.

#5 jeebowhite

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:55 AM

Didnt know it would affect your house insurance as well, but certainly anything modified to the performance of the car is to be reported. I think the general rule of thumb before they cracked down was "if you can see it, declare it, if it improves your cars performance, declare it" so the likes of LED footwell lights, or LED lights in the cupholder wouldnt have been quite so relevant, now It seems that they want to know the type of LED bulb that you used in your footwell!

#6 NorthSussex

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:51 AM

Didnt know it would affect your house insurance as well, but certainly anything modified to the performance of the car is to be reported. I think the general rule of thumb before they cracked down was "if you can see it, declare it, if it improves your cars performance, declare it" so the likes of LED footwell lights, or LED lights in the cupholder wouldnt have been quite so relevant, now It seems that they want to know the type of LED bulb that you used in your footwell!

As with all insurance companies, if they can wriggle out of paying they will. As regards to house insurance, one of the questions they will ask is, "have you ever been refused insurance", an insurance that has been declared void is classed as a refusal, and therefore they will refuse to insure you. :(

#7 Lenny

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:59 PM

now It seems that they want to know the type of LED bulb that you used in your footwell!


their red w5w 501 5 smd led wedge bulbs in the footwells mate, ;)

some insurance companys will give you cheaper insurance for fitting DRL's etc, but not mine :rolleyes: and im with AA who i would have expected to be one of the insurance companys to promote road safety by reduicing my premium for fitting such modification along with an additional reverse light and a fourth brake light :D

#8 DAN@ADRIAN FLUX

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:35 AM

Hi all,

As the preferred insurance intermediary to the forum we thought we should add to the thread. Incidentally we were also very recently asked to provide a few words to FastCar magazine regarding the effects of modifications on insurance.

As we replied to them, in many cases modifications can bring down the price of your motor insurance.

Most people ask how this could be but in many cases the insurers favour a dedicated enthusiast who has lavished time and care on their vehicle. In these cases the owner has shown to be a better 'risk' than say a driver of a cheap jalopy.

We would add that it is imperative that you declare all the modifications that your vehicle has. If in doubt advise anyway. We do record all telephone conversations and as a specialist the question of "Is your vehicle modified..." is mandatory on our quotes system.

If someone chooses not to declare their expensive alloy wheels and subsequently has them stolen, the insurer will oridinarily only provide a replacement for the standard manufacturers. That's understandable - if they weren't aware at the outset they can't reasonably be expected to indemnify the insured if they weren't in receipt of all the facts.

In addition declaring modificiations gives you the piece of mind that they are (in the case our ourselves) covered on a ‘like-for-like’ basis.

This means in the event of an accident they will be replaced. Safety improvements such as FIA approved 4-point harnesses can actually reduce the premium as insurers view safety improvements favourably.

Certain modifications such as Roll Cages can sometimes put off a few insurers but based on the above always declare modifications and if in doubt advise anyway.

Hope that this helps guys.

Cheers

Dan

#9 jeebowhite

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:33 PM

Thanks for the clarity Dan, the question is as follows: you say "declare all mods" - do you have to be as nit picky as "Red LED lights in the cupholders"

What will they realistically want you to go down to.

Also, out of curiosity, if I was to say, buy Lenny's car, and Lenny didnt tell me that he had modified it, and I was to insure it as "factory", then someone wrote it off... What then? if your unaware of a modification before you bought the car... where do you stand on the Insurance front?

#10 rojariggs

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:11 PM

Thanks for the clarity Dan, the question is as follows: you say "declare all mods" - do you have to be as nit picky as "Red LED lights in the cupholders"

What will they realistically want you to go down to.

Good question!

Also, out of curiosity, if I was to say, buy Lenny's car, and Lenny didnt tell me that he had modified it, and I was to insure it as "factory", then someone wrote it off... What then? if your unaware of a modification before you bought the car... where do you stand on the Insurance front?

An even better question! If you buy a used car, you won't necessarily know what was factory fitted and what was aftermarket and you can't declare what you don't know about...

#11 DAN@ADRIAN FLUX

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:20 PM

Thanks for the clarity Dan, the question is as follows: you say "declare all mods" - do you have to be as nit picky as "Red LED lights in the cupholders"

What will they realistically want you to go down to.

Also, out of curiosity, if I was to say, buy Lenny's car, and Lenny didnt tell me that he had modified it, and I was to insure it as "factory", then someone wrote it off... What then? if your unaware of a modification before you bought the car... where do you stand on the Insurance front?



Hi Jeebo,

I hope the thread was helpful - in the case of dash lights it would be unlikely that in the event of a claim it would be thrown out for not declaring. Realistically they'd like anything you've added to the vehicles that you would wish to be replaced if the vehicle was involved in a total loss (written-off) or stolen.

Interesting question regarding purchasing a vehicle that you may not realise had been modified. In these occasions as long as you were able to prove that modifications had not been done whilst in your ownership the insurer would probably take this into consideration. You may have to pay an additional premium that the same insuer would invariably have charged should the mods been declared at the outset. It would be abit harsh if you genuinely weren't aware and insurers I'm sure would use common sense.

Hope that this helps.

Dan

#12 NorthSussex

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:33 PM

Hi Jeebo,

I hope the thread was helpful - in the case of dash lights it would be unlikely that in the event of a claim it would be thrown out for not declaring. Realistically they'd like anything you've added to the vehicles that you would wish to be replaced if the vehicle was involved in a total loss (written-off) or stolen.

Interesting question regarding purchasing a vehicle that you may not realise had been modified. In these occasions as long as you were able to prove that modifications had not been done whilst in your ownership the insurer would probably take this into consideration. You may have to pay an additional premium that the same insuer would invariably have charged should the mods been declared at the outset. It would be abit harsh if you genuinely weren't aware and insurers I'm sure would use common sense.

Hope that this helps.

Dan


Hi Dan, call me a cynic, but I am wary of insurers using the words "probably, unlikely and as long as you can prove". It still sounds a bit of a minefield. Anyway thanks for your input. <_<

#13 Lenny

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:43 PM

Thanks for the clarity Dan, the question is as follows: you say "declare all mods" - do you have to be as nit picky as "Red LED lights in the cupholders"

What will they realistically want you to go down to.

Also, out of curiosity, if I was to say, buy Lenny's car, and Lenny didnt tell me that he had modified it, and I was to insure it as "factory", then someone wrote it off... What then? if your unaware of a modification before you bought the car... where do you stand on the Insurance front?


Just to note for all who are reading this thread:
Lenny's car is not for sale :lol: jeebo used me as an example for the purpose of his question, im not selling my focus, but im very interested in the questions and answers contained in this thread,
and i hope no one writes my car off neither :(

#14 jeebowhite

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 01:27 PM

lol Sorry Lenny to pick on you, you were one of the first names that came to mind when it came to modding, lol, I know your not selling your car, and apologise to anyone who'se hopes I may have heightened by my post :P

Dan, Thanks for your reply. It was very helpful and educational.

As for the declarations, its good to have a bit of common sense about the request, what worries me a little is that you said "in the case of dash lights it would be unlikely that in the event of a claim it would be thrown out for not declaring" (dont get me wrong I am not taking your word to be the representative of the insurance industry).

But what would worry me, what is the likelyhood that an insurer would say "you didnt declare those, I suspect that they may have distracted your attention as they are not factory, ergo, insurance void!" (I do appreciate your responses, but these are questions that have bugged me for years, and if we are looking to assist setting the record straight for any insurance / modifications, we might as well go the full mile!)

Also with regards to your points, as an insurance rep, If I bought a car with under body modifications, (lets say, a high power remap, and case B - a Tuning box) but I bought the car, it wasnt advertised that either modification was present.

How would I prove to an insurer after I wrapped my pride and joy around a tree, that I didnt:
a) get the car remapped in my posession (perhaps an investigation into the ECU's "last modified date" would be done) if I contue to argue the point, or,
B) I never actually knew what that little box was, I assumed it was a "black box" for insurance purposes, but never knew it was a modification, how would I prove that I didnt put it there (its not going to be logged on the car anywhere it was added before I bought the car, with a receipt!)

If you can asnswer these questions it will help, I think these are all questions that others would like to know!

Like I said, I am not looking to you to be the authoritive representative of the insurance industry, and your word go's, but I would want to know, if I called you up and said "help, I didnt know it was there, honest" whether the insurance company would reply with "Suuuureee you didnt" or "well, we will take your car apart to the final bolt, and work out how long its been there"

#15 NorthSussex

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:17 PM

lol Sorry Lenny to pick on you, you were one of the first names that came to mind when it came to modding, lol, I know your not selling your car, and apologise to anyone who'se hopes I may have heightened by my post :P

Dan, Thanks for your reply. It was very helpful and educational.

As for the declarations, its good to have a bit of common sense about the request, what worries me a little is that you said "in the case of dash lights it would be unlikely that in the event of a claim it would be thrown out for not declaring" (dont get me wrong I am not taking your word to be the representative of the insurance industry).

But what would worry me, what is the likelyhood that an insurer would say "you didnt declare those, I suspect that they may have distracted your attention as they are not factory, ergo, insurance void!" (I do appreciate your responses, but these are questions that have bugged me for years, and if we are looking to assist setting the record straight for any insurance / modifications, we might as well go the full mile!)

Also with regards to your points, as an insurance rep, If I bought a car with under body modifications, (lets say, a high power remap, and case B - a Tuning box) but I bought the car, it wasnt advertised that either modification was present.

How would I prove to an insurer after I wrapped my pride and joy around a tree, that I didnt:
a) get the car remapped in my posession (perhaps an investigation into the ECU's "last modified date" would be done) if I contue to argue the point, or,
B) I never actually knew what that little box was, I assumed it was a "black box" for insurance purposes, but never knew it was a modification, how would I prove that I didnt put it there (its not going to be logged on the car anywhere it was added before I bought the car, with a receipt!)

If you can asnswer these questions it will help, I think these are all questions that others would like to know!

Like I said, I am not looking to you to be the authoritive representative of the insurance industry, and your word go's, but I would want to know, if I called you up and said "help, I didnt know it was there, honest" whether the insurance company would reply with "Suuuureee you didnt" or "well, we will take your car apart to the final bolt, and work out how long its been there"

It may be worth keeping a copy of the original sales advert and receipt for the car when you buy it, it should list any previous mods; also if you keep all copies of all correspondence you have when you declare your own mods to the insurance company, it should cover you if you have a claims dispute.

As a representative with an insurance company; What's your opinion Dan? :blink:

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