How to Insure a Car With Modifications

There are a lot of reasons why vehicle owners may make customizations to a car, from getting a custom paint job to reflect a favored color to making internal tweaks to satisfy a need for speed. While cosmetic modifications don’t make a difference in how a car performs, other types of modifications or upgrades can greatly change how an insurance company views the risk of accidents when behind the wheel. Although getting insurance for a modified car may seem like a daunting task, with the right approach, it can be far easier.

Part 1 of 1: Insure your modified car

Step 1: Make a list of modifications. Often one adjustment or change leads to another, and you soon have several modifications on your car.

In the case of a future accident and claim, be sure to disclose all changes you have made to your car up front with prospective insurance companies. If you accidentally leave something out, a claim could be denied. Having a list of everything that is not stock on your car ensures you won’t forget a single modification.

Step 2: Call several insurance companies. With modifications, your car no longer fits in predefined categories.

While you could get insurance by filling out an online form, it is unlikely that you can properly document your changes, and that means you may not actually be covered in the event of an accident. This is a situation where it behooves you to speak to a real, live person, so pick up the phone and explain in detail how you have modified your car – referring to your list – to the person at the end of the line.

Step 3: Ask about equipment coverage. You can get your car’s stock parts covered along with having any resulting medical bills paid with a comprehensive policy, but your additions may not be replaced.

Extra equipment coverage ensures your add-on parts are eligible for replacement in the case of an accident. It will cost a bit more, but it may be worth it, especially if your parts came with a high price tag.

  • Tip: If you have difficulty finding traditional automobile coverage, ask about collector car insurance coverage.

Step 4: Choose the best deal for your needs. It may be helpful to write down the cost and details about coverage for each of your prospective insurance companies.

The cheapest one is not necessarily the best choice for your situation. Consider factors like the deductible and medical coverage amount.

Step 5: Make a decision. Once you’ve looked at the comparison between companies in black and white, make a choice.

Give the chosen insurance company another phone call and follow its instructions for obtaining the policy you previously discussed. In most cases, your policy becomes effective on the following business day.

  • Warning: There are often caveats to insurance on modified cars, so bear any exceptions in mind. A common exclusion to insurance applies to racing or test driving on a track. This is because high speeds are usually involved in racing and track situations, which greatly increases the chance of an accident.

While it may take extra leg work to find an insurance company willing to provide coverage for your car with modifications, it is not impossible. Expect to pay more than you would to insure your vehicle in its stock condition, and be sure to disclose everything you have done to modify it. With full disclosure and the willingness to pay to play in your decked-out vehicle, you will find a company willing to provide insurance to you. Make sure to keep your car on a routine maintenance schedule so you can enjoy it without the worry of a breakdown or an unnecessary accident.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

Is Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Right for You?
Chances Chances are you pay the same amount for your car insurance bill each month, unless you make a change to your policy or vehicle. But if you go days (or weeks) without driving, doesn’t it seem unfair that your...
How to Bundle Your Car Insurance and Homeowners Insurance
Home and auto insurance quotes are often cheaper if bundled together into one policy. Bundled insurance policies are less costly and easier to manage.
How to Save on Car Insurance With a Defensive Driving Discount
Defensive driving classes can reduce your car insurance rate and teach you essential driving skills like how to handle skids and use anti-lock brakes.

Related questions

What is "diminished value" as it refers to a totaled car?
Hi, thanks for writing in. The insurance company can use "diminished value" for a number of reasons. The overall condition of the vehicle not including the wreck, above average mileage, etc. I would ask them what criteria they are using...
Question about acceleration improvement.
There are zero options to "improve" the acceleration of the vehicle very simply because if such "options" actually existed Toyota would have already implemented them on the assembly line. That is who wouldn't want better acceleration? Toyota selected and tuned...
I want to put an exhaust system on my car but it is not street legal, what can I do?
When it comes to this type of exhaust system, there is no workaround that will make it legal. If these exhaust components do not have the air quality resource tag on them, then they cannot legally be used on the...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com