What is a modification for car insurance?

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Things to remember...
  • If you have made any major performance modifications to your vehicles, such as adding hydraulic suspension or a racing spoiler, your car may be considered a higher risk car to insure by auto insurance companies
  • The addition of customized parts for a modified car makes any damage to the car all that more expensive to repair in relation to the car’s value
  • If you have modified your car, you may need to think about additional car insurance coverage to supplement your basic policy
  • If you have modified your car for the purpose of racing with it and get involved in a car crash, your insurance will likely not cover you for any racing activities
  • If you do not tell your auto insurance company about any modifications to your car and then are involved in an accident, you may be out of luck in terms of getting coverage for the value of the modifications


Having a modified car means that you probably did something specific to “soup it up.” It is true that modified cars are typically more expensive to insure, just like a fancy sports car would be.

However, modified cars are different than exotic or luxury cars because they refer to alterations to the performance or appearance of the car. The parts added to the car are typically non-standard and can be very expensive to find and replace if there is damage to the car.

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Telling Your Auto Insurance Agent About Modifications to Your Car

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It is important to let your auto insurance agent know if you have modified your car in a significant way. Simply put, your failure to do so means that you might not be able to get coverage for the true value of your modified car in the event of an accident.

There are some things that insurance companies will simply refuse to cover. Any modifications that make the vehicle a non-legal car to drive on public roads will certainly not be covered by your insurance company.

Items such as wheelie bars or drag wheels are not typically covered under a private passenger automobile policy. Sport-type modifications, such as performance wheels and exhaust systems, can be covered under an auto insurance policy as long as you declare them.

Be sure to contact your insurer to make sure that your policy has coverage before you make any major modification to the performance aspects of your car. It is a good idea to make sure that you will be covered before you invest money in modifying your car.

If you already have modifications to your car, then you may want to consider increasing the policy limits for your collision and comprehensive coverage.

These types of policies are what protect you in the event that your car is damaged in an accident or from some other type of unfortunate incident. Even if you are at fault for the accident, a collision policy will help you recover for physical damage to your modified car.

Pay close attention to the deductible that you pay for your collision and comprehensive coverage. For a modified car, the car insurance company may ask you to pay a higher deductible than you would expect for a traditional car.

This means that your out of pocket expenses for an auto body repair job are going to be a bit higher. If you are unsatisfied with your deductible options, you can always shop around for better choices.

This is a good way to make sure that you are getting enough coverage for a reasonable price. Because the cost of insuring a modified car is higher, it is even more important to shop around for good premium estimates.

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Filing a Claim for a Modified Car

While you hope to never have an accident, it is important to know how you would file a claim for an accident involving a modified car.

The process of gathering information for your claim is very similar to that of a regular car but you may need to provide extra documentation to the car insurance company concerning the value of the modifications to your car and reasonable estimates for the cost to repair.

When you are trying to figure out what type of damage to your modified car may be covered under your auto insurance policy, you should consult the declarations page.

If you have properly reported all of the modifications to your car to your car insurance company, they will be expressly listed on the declarations page.

You may encounter some push back from your car insurance company in terms of what is a reasonable estimate to repair the damage to your modified car.

While you are not necessarily required to go to the auto body repair shop that performs the estimate on behalf of your car insurance company, they may not be willing to pay a higher amount if you get an estimate from an alternate auto body repair shop.

If the total damage to your modified car is very expensive and you are having trouble getting a settlement from your auto insurance company, it may be worthwhile to consult an experienced lawyer.

This could help speed up the settlement negotiations process and show the insurer that you are serious about recovering for the full amount of damage to the modifications you reported when you took out your car insurance policy.

What if the auto insurance company will not insure me?

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If an auto insurance company refuses to provide you coverage, this does not excuse you from your legal obligation to have coverage.

As long as you are going to drive your car on public roads, you need to make sure you are covered so that you do not have to deal with expensive fines and other penalties.

You can reach out to your state insurance commissioner for a list of insurance companies in your state or other options for coverage.

If you have modified your car in a significant way, this will almost certainly affect the value of your car and the cost of repairing your car after a car crash.

This is why you need to tell your auto insurance agent about major modifications to your car when you are signing up for car insurance.

If you fail to disclose major modifications to your car to the insurance agent, then you could forfeit your right to recover damages to repair your car to the modified condition in the event of an accident.

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