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When individuals buy a vehicle, they perceive it as being their own. They are the ones that have paid or are paying for it. As such they believe that they should have the option to do what they want with it. This, in fact, may be true. But what they don’t realize is that what they do with this vehicle can cost them more than they expect.

Common Modifications for Appearance

windows tinting

A lot of drivers like to make different modifications to their vehicle. To personalize it for their reasons. Some of these are to make it the vehicle look better such as;

  • Making it the windows look at darker by tinting them.
  • Putting on larger tires are using alloy wheels.
  • Sprucing up the paint with decals.

CommonModifications for Performance

stereo system

Then there are modifications that improve the performance of the vehicle.

It can be by;

  • By having the suspension raised.
  • Having a larger and more powerful transmission installed.
  • Or they may modify the vehicle for extra conveniences.
  • Having a built-in stereo system added.

Some of the common modifications made by vehicle owners can be costly depending on which ones they do. But the cost is extended because of the possibility of it increasing the cost of insurance.

What Do Insurance Companies Care About?

Many are under the impression that insurance companies only care about the driver. It is this where the insurance company places most of its risk factors. It is true, but there are metrics that they will use for the vehicle used by the insured. They will look at factors such as the year make and model of the vehicle. They want to know what its performance factors are as these pertain to the risk factors. Safety factors in some ways are also taken into account.

Modification Concerns

Many of the modifications listed affect the metrics that the insurance company looks at. In regards to the vehicle. If any of the modifications are going to affect the safety factor of the vehicle, this will be a concern. This could apply to the darkening of the windows as well as the raising of the suspension and the use of larger tires.

Perhaps the addition of the modification to the paint or the stereo system may not have such a big impact. But, the insurance covers what is built into the vehicle.  Other belongings in the vehicle are portable. They are not covered by insurance claims for vehicle insurance. It raises the question about the built-in stereo system for example. Paint modification and alloy wheels could make the vehicle more susceptible to theft. Again this is another risk factor that is now increased for the insurance company.

The insurance metrics are those that apply to what the car had when leaving the factory.

Notifying the Insurance Company

Insurance Companies are concerned about claims under liability, comprehensive and collision coverage.

Car owners should talk to their Insurance company first. Before any individual partakes in a modification of their vehicle.

It could be that the modifications are dramatic. The insurance company may refuse to ensure the vehicle. Rather than make this mistake, it is better to know beforehand where one is going to stand with their insurance.

Insurance companies vary to what is important to them. But they will look at how the modification is going to affect their risk in specific areas. It is going to dictate how much of an increase insurance premium there may be.

Performance and Appearance

Performance and appearance modifications are going to take in changes that affect the engine and some of its mechanical parts. It is going to take in items added to the interior. It will also include paintwork as well as wheels and other forms of bodywork. Which modification made in this category will dictate how much the premiums will go up. This category is likely going to be the one that is going to increase the most increase in premiums.


There are a lot of modifications made to create convenience in different functions. These can be things like adding air-conditioning to a vehicle. Or modification for a sunroof. It can be with the addition of adding items such as the stereo system. Or different types of navigation systems. It can also include adding items used for towing such as bike racks or roof racks. Then it could be for something for disabled drivers. Something that may need hand controls or wheelchair accessories.

All of these change the vehicle from the time it left the factory. It is what the insurance company is going to consider. Some of these modifications are necessary and are quite common. The insurance company will have a good idea what the premium increase will be for these.

Others may be not so common. Rhe insurance company will have to give this greater thought. They will need to decide whether they are going to accept the modification. If not then they will indicate that they will not provide coverage.

Ensuring a Modified Vehicle

Modified Vehicle

There are times that individuals will buy a vehicle that is modified.  When shopping for insurance, it is important that they give this information to the insurance company.  It helps to narrow down any confusion or disappointment in the future. If these modifications are not told, it could have a bearing on any claim made in the future.

It is not up to the insurance company to ask if modifications have been made. But, It is up to the insured individual to provide as much in information as possible.  Also, it not only helps to get the accurate rates but gives the shopper a chance to compare different quotes. Plus, It is a tendency for some individuals to try and limit the amount of information they give.

In regards to information needed for insurance. They do this to help keep their premiums down. In the long run, they are only hurting themselves because they are now at risk that a claim will not be valid.

About the Author: Ashley Miller

Ashley is an insurance content professional and very knowledgeable on all related subjects. Ashley has over 12 years of insurance content writing experience working with various insurance companies throughout her career.