As a car enthusiast, it is alluring to modify your vehicle to boost its appearance or performance. Vehicle modifications can range from installing turbochargers to boost performance to aesthetic changes like better body kits. With professional handling, vehicle modifications can boost the value of your car.
However, you might overlook something crucial amidst the excitement of modifying your car. Would your insurer accept these modifications or cover a car with modified parts?
Before bringing about any kind of aftermarket change to your vehicle, make sure to consult your insurer. Click here to consult the brokers in PEI and learn about insurance for car modifications. Reputed insurance brokers like Surex can also help you understand the impact of modifying your car on premiums.
What is a modification in your car?
Modification of your car involves integrating the vehicle with any change that makes the configuration or appearance different from the manufacturer’s specifications.
So, your car insurer needs to evaluate these changes and determine the modified vehicle’s risk potential. While most modifications increase the premium, installing anti-theft devices or advanced braking systems can reduce your car insurance cost.
Modifications in your car alter the way it performs or appears. Drivers who love boasting about their vehicles’ looks often bring cosmetic changes. Besides, some technical changes in your car help drivers personalize their rides.
Modified cars also tend to perform better if you install the right components. For instance, you might want to boost the car’s fuel economy, engine performance, or handling.
Common car modifications that you might consider making
Here are some common car modifications that car owners usually wish to undergo:
Car owners should be aware that removing the charcoal canister is illegal. As long as the emission control components are in place, you can modify your engine. So, you can install a cold air intake system or a breather filter. Besides, you might integrate the engine with a supercharger or a turbocharger.
Lowering car’s suspension
Insurers allow car owners to lower the vehicle’s suspension under certain conditions. The tires and the vehicle shouldn’t be in contact, and the car should have a gap between the ground.
Paints and tints
It’s legal to paint your car with any color that appeals to you. Moreover, you might apply an intense tint on the rear windows of your car. However, the windshield and front windows of the vehicles should leave a clear view.
Rims and tires
It’s common for car owners to use customized or larger rims and tires rather than the original components. So long as these tires are meant for highway use, you are safe.
In Canada, insurers don’t impose any limitations on seat replacements. Besides, you can also get a racing harness as long as it suits highway use. Make sure to have strong anchor points.
Lights and turn signals
Amber and white are the only colors that drivers can have on the front of the car. Some drivers have a fascination for side marker lights. In case you want to install these, get a vehicle longer than 6.1 meters.
Also, you cannot flash these lights, and they mustn’t be seen from the front of your car. The colors red, blue, and green are reserved for ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, snow plows, and volunteer firefighters. Also, you cannot use any tinted material to cover the headlights.
Nitrous Oxide (NOS)
Adding NOS to your car is illegal in Canada. So, if you use it to increase speed, you can face imprisonment for up to six months and a $2,000 penalty.
Your car shouldn’t have any unnecessary smoke or noise coming out. Keep an eye on the legal specifications and adhere to them the same.
Adding fins and spoilers
You can safely add fins and spoilers to your car. Just secure these accessories safely and ensure they don’t obstruct the mirror view.
Do modifications affect your car insurance rates in Canada?
If you are willing to bring about aftermarket changes in your vehicle, you might wonder, ‘Do modifications affect car insurance?’. Unfortunately, insurers alter the premiums based on the corresponding modifications. This is because installing aftermarket accessories affects your car’s performance and safety.
Also, the car’s overall value might be affected if you make these changes. For instance, if you change the power and size of the engine, the vehicle might be at risk of an accident. Besides, lowering the car’s suspension also makes it susceptible to mishaps.
Will your insurer cover your modified car?
Whether or not your insurance company will extend the existing benefits to the modified vehicle depends on the type of modifications you make. Here are some examples of modifications that can help you understand this matter:
If you have a disability and bring about some changes in the accessibility of your car, the insurer shouldn’t increase the premium. However, if any of these changes increase the car’s value, you need to pay more. Typically, these changes include integrating custom seat systems, hand controls, or wheelchair lifts.
- Performance-oriented or cosmetic modifications
Making these modifications to enhance the performance and aesthetics of your car can result in a spike in premiums. So, if you modify the car’s suspension, add a new coat of paint, or integrate alloy wheels, stereo systems, or alarms, your insurer will cover your car.
- Illegal modifications
Illegal modifications to your car include dark window tinting, underbody lighting, or integrating nitrous oxide. These modifications not only attract legal action but also render your vehicle uninsured. Your insurer might cancel your policy or deny claims when you make one if your car has illegal modifications.
Insurance for car modifications — Endnote
As you understand, modifying your vehicle exposes it to a greater risk on the road. This explains why not all insurers are ready to cover modified vehicles.
If you want to integrate any design or performance-oriented change to your car, inform your insurer at the outset. You can also get quotes for insurance for car modifications from reputed insurance brokers.
If you are comfortable with the revised annual premium, and the insurer agrees to cover your car, you can get the aftermarket modifications done. So, it’s wise to play safe and keep your insurer in the loop whenever you think of some sporty feature for your car.