Vehicle modifications and car insurance
Are your vehicle modifications covered?
Call it mid-life crisis. Last month saw me spellbound by the construct of exhaust engineering. Convinced that it will do wonders to my drive, I had the workshop fit this new exhaust onto my car. The sounds of the ups, revs and acceleration got me excited about my future spins.
Little did I know that the impending euphoria was unlikely to be immediate. Here’s why:
Insurers might not insure vehicles with modifications to the vehicle,
notwithstanding that the modifications passed Land Transport Authority's (LTA's) inspection standards.
Motorists must declare all modifications, irrespective of acceptance by LTA, for underwriting.
Drivers are required to inform the insurer of any modifications made to the car, even if it has passed LTA’s inspection standards.
A large number of insurers consider modifications made to a car as key information in deciding what premium to charge for a policy. Some insurers do not even insure modified cars.
Communicating this to your insurance company is an incredibly important part of the claims process.
Claims have been rejected on the basis of non-declaration of changes such as engine performance, exhaust systems, transmission systems, or any changes to the handling characteristics of the car including suspension systems or bracing as well as any changes made to the control unit of such parts.
This list is not exhaustive and if you are in doubt whether the modification is covered by your insurance plan, it is useful to check this with your insurer.
For many people, dealing with insurance companies after an accident is a frustrating and a drawn out process.
Everything you write and say would be noted in the insurance company's records. In every attempt to ensure a smooth claims process, it is worthwhile to make sure that all declarations get documented in writing.
Without dampening the excitement of fellow petrol heads for a more rewarding drive, one would be pleased to note that changes made to rims, tyres and body kits are not considered a modification when they are within the manufacturer's defined specifications.
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