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Modifying Your Car: Do You Have to Inform Your Insurance Company?

Have you ever thought about personalizing your vehicle with a set of new wheels or by adding a spoiler? What about tinting the windows, or adding vinyl stickers to the exterior?  These are all very common modifications made by vehicle owners who want to give their ride a personal touch. However, what many people don’t realize is that you may need to inform your insurance company.

When you first insure your vehicle, the insurer will ask you a litany of questions about it. You then enter into a contract with the company to insure that vehicle. If something on the vehicle is changed, it’s very possible the contract could be voided if they find out you withheld information from them, including changes made to the vehicle after the insurance contract came into effect.

Which means that, you must tell your insurer about any and all modifications you make; they will then adjust your rate accordingly. Sorry to say, the most likely outcome will be an increase in your rate.

Yes, most vehicle modifications increase the cost of insurance, except in cases where they prevent theft or improve safety (for example anti-theft systems or backup cameras). Insurance companies operate based on risk and if they determine that a change made to a car might increase the risk of an accident or theft, they will hike your rate.

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