Many people like to modify their vehicles by customizing them to suit their personal likes and interests or to add increased performance or comfort.
Many great modifications can be made to your vehicle, but before you make any changes it is important to know how these changes will affect your auto insurance premium!
What Are Vehicle Modifications?
Vehicle modifications consist of any changes made to your vehicle’s look and sound. They also include any changes that allow your vehicle to perform differently than its original state. Some drivers like to use modifications to improve their vehicle's performance, fuel economy, handling, or ability to carry bikes or skis, while others like to customize the look of their vehicle based solely on personal preference. There are even modifications that can be made to your vehicle to enhance accessibility.
Common Vehicle Performance Modifications
- Larger transmission
- Engine tuning
- Lifted suspension
- Lowered suspension
- Specialty exhaust/mufflers
- Turbochargers and Superchargers
Common Vehicle Accessibility Modifications
- Hand controls
- Safety belts
- Wheelchair lifts/ramps
- Pedal extensions
- Steering wheel adjustments
Common Vehicle Cosmetic Modifications
- Window tints
- Radio systems
- Under-body lighting system
- Interior design upgrades
- Custom paint job
- Tires and rims
- Adding a fin or spoiler
- Coloured lights
- Upgrading the carpets
Additional Vehicle Modifications
- Bike rack
- Ski rack
- Tow Bar
- New seats
- Alarms and security systems
Do Vehicle Modifications Affect Auto Insurance Premiums?
Numerous factors are used to determine your auto insurance premium. The make and model of your car is one of these factors so it makes sense that any changes to this information, including vehicle modifications, will affect your auto insurance premium. Vehicle modifications can change your vehicle’s safety rating and overall value, which is important information for your Ontario insurance broker to know.
The increase in your auto insurance premium will heavily depend on exactly what kind of vehicle modifications you have done.
For those individuals with vehicle modifications that are for accessibility purposes, this may not affect your auto insurance premium since these changes will not make your vehicle more or less safe and your coverage may stay the same. However, if the modifications increase the value of your vehicle by a large amount, there is the possibility of this affecting your auto insurance premium.
Which Vehicle Modifications are Covered by Insurance?
Before you make any changes to your vehicle you should speak with your Ontario insurance broker to see if they will cover your intended modifications. Informing your Ontario insurance broker of any changes made to your vehicle is your responsibility. If you happen to be in an accident and it is discovered by your insurance company that your vehicle has had modifications without them being informed, there may be penalties. These consequences may include your insurance claim being denied or your auto insurance policy being revoked, which leaves you liable for injuries, damages, and any costs of the accident.
Any modifications for accessibility, appearance or safety purposes may be covered by insurance. Performance-enhancing vehicle modifications are less likely to be covered by insurance so you will need to speak with your Ontario insurance broker to determine if your vehicle can be covered.
Contact your Youngs Insurance broker for an assessment of your personal auto insurance policy. We’ll help you stay protected on the roads, customize your coverage to your individual driving experience and determine if your vehicle modifications will affect your auto insurance policy.