How Car Mods Affect Repairs and Car Insurance
A car dealership gives you a great selection of quality, stylish vehicles with top-notch features. Yet when you shop at a car dealership, you also end up buying a car that thousands of other people have. If you’re the type of person who likes to be different, shopping at a car dealership presents some challenges.
One way you can take advantage of the convenience and affordability that a dealership offers while still preserving your unique style is to modify your car with after-market parts or a custom paint job. You can improve your car’s performance, enhance the exterior design, and increase the interior comfort. You can be as creative as like, turning your car into something right out of “Pimp My Ride.”
These changes won’t just modify your car, they will also change the insurance premiums you can expect to pay and may increase your bill when you have to go in for auto body repair in Cincinnati. Here’s what you need to know:
Your Insurance Rates May Increase
There are many reasons why car mods, and other customizations enthusiasts are fond of, may increase your insurance premiums:
To start, the mods may increase the value of your car, which will make it more expensive to insure. A simple paint job may not be enough to increase the value of your car, but turbocharging the engine, adding a spoiler and making other major changes is likely to increase its value.
Your insurance rates may also increase if your modifications make your car more attractive to thieves. This is a subjective evaluation, so there is no hard and fast rule about what modifications will cause the increase.
Finally, your insurance rates may increase if your modifications make the car more risky on the road. For example, turbocharging your engine can increase your insurance premium up to 91 percent. Other changes likely to cause big increases are transmission or gear changes, a complete body kit, replacing the steering wheel, and uprating the brakes. The changes likely to cause the lowest increases are tinting the windows, replacing the exhaust, updating the suspension, adding alloy wheels, or changing the dashboard.
If you are budget conscious, you should investigate the rate change for the modification you are considering before you make the change.
Your Mods May Not Be Covered
When your insurance company estimates your premium, it is based on the value of your car. If you make modifications without informing the insurance company, you may have altered the value of the car but your policy may not be updated to reflect its new value.
You will need to declare these changes to your insurance company to ensure that the full value of your investment is covered. You will need to have comprehensive insurance to cover any damages to your car, and you will need Custom Parts and Equipment coverage to protect the mods you make. The CPE coverage will cost an extra premium.
In some cases, you may negotiate a stated value with your insurance company. In doing so, you establish the value of the car in case it is totaled. If you are in an accident, you won’t have to negotiate with the insurance company. Instead, the company will just cut you a check.
If you don’t take these steps, the insurance company may not recognize the value of your mods when processing your claim. With just one accident, you will lose every penny you put into the car.
Your Claim May Be Denied
A major risk of not telling your insurance company that you have made modifications to your vehicle is that your claim may be denied if you are in an accident. Making modifications without notifying your insurance company is considered a violation of your contract. Your insurance company may not only refuse to pay your claim but may also cancel your policy entirely.
If the accident is found to be your fault, you may also find yourself on the line for the property damage and injuries to the other party. This could end up being hundreds of thousands of dollars in a serious accident.
Don’t risk your financial future to save a few dollars on an insurance premium. Make sure you declare the changes and purchase whatever additional insurance is necessary for your mods. You’ll protect your investment and minimize your risk if you are ever in an accident.
You Will Pay More in Repairs
Just like you would pay more in repairs if you had a specialty vehicle, you will pay more if you have specialty parts. A turbocharged engine requires special skill and parts to repair, and you will pay more to get the job done right.
You may be tempted to perform these repairs yourself — or even to make the modifications yourself — but doing so would be a mistake. Not only can you make mistakes that will lead to serious problems for your car, but you can also void your warranty. Save yourself money and heartache by hiring a professional to perform the upgrades and any repairs that are necessary down the line.
You may also have to pay more for auto body repair in Cincinnati if you have made customizations. For example, if you have flames painted on the side panels and you are T-boned at an intersection, you are going to have to pay someone to recreate that design when the car is repaired. That’s going to cost more than a standard paint job repair.
As always, you should hire a professional to perform your auto body repair in Cincinnati. Only a professional will perform the job right to ensure the longevity of the work and to save you money later. When you spend so much time and money on getting your car just the way you want it, you should protect it with only the best care. You’ll have a gorgeous car that stands out from the pack, and it will last you for many years to come.