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Modified car parked on a city street.

Before Modifying Your Car, Speak with Ottawa Car Insurance Companies to Weigh Your Options

Car modifications can make a car look and perform better. Powerful engines, shiny rims, and upgraded stereo systems make car owners proud. But these mods can also make cars more susceptible to theft and damage.

The increased risk of theft and accidents with certain car modifications will make insurance policies void or more expensive.

Car insurance policies are based on factory-built vehicles that are tested for safety and accident prevention. The moment you modify a vehicle, these safety measures could be compromised, at least in the eyes of your insurer.

Insurance companies need to ensure modifications do not increase a vehicle’s risk of an accident, nor increase its value. A car with a more powerful engine is more at risk of accidents, and a higher-value car is more at risk of theft. Thieves are also more likely to break into a car to steal high-valued upgrades such as car stereos and take off with shiny rims.

While some modifications will increase your car insurance costs, others may actually help reduce your insurance premiums. But if you don’t notify your car insurance company of any modifications you make, your policy will become void. So you must inform them of any changes you make, or plan to make, to avoid driving without insurance coverage.

To avoid nullifying your insurance policy, speak with your Ottawa car insurance provider before making any changes to your vehicle. They will let you know if they cover modifications, and how much these changes will affect your insurance costs.

Top Car Modifications that Might Increase Your Insurance Premiums.

Fitting a More Powerful Engine

A more powerful engine means your car will drive faster. And in the eyes of the insurance companies, this means your car is more likely to get into an accident. Engine modifications will make your car insurance costs increase the most.

Changes to Bodywork, Body Kits, & Panels

Any changes to bodywork, including spoilers, flared wings, wheel arches, and bonnet bulges, will make your insurance premiums increase. These changes can increase the value and speed of your car, making it more prone to theft and accidents. Even paintwork and the addition of stripes, badges, and decals can boost the costs of your insurance.

Changes to Gearing & Transmission

The factory-tested safety features of a car no longer apply when you make changes to the gearing or transmission. These changes also make a car high-risk since it is likely modified to drive faster for racing. And race cars have a higher chance of getting into an accident. Similar mods for racing include:

  • Uprated brakes
  • A new exhaust system or air filter
  • Nitrous oxide injection systems

Any modification that improves the car’s power performance will make it high-risk to insurers.

Roll Bars, Roll Cages, and the Removal of Seats

If you remove seats and install roll bars and roll cages, your car will be red-flagged by insurance providers. These modifications are a sure sign that your will be used for racing, making it a high-risk for accidents and damage.

Suspension Upgrades

Whether you choose to modify your vehicle suspension to be a low-rider or a monster truck, these mods will make your car more at risk of damage. Low-suspension vehicles are at more risk of damage from scraping bumpers along roads and speed bumps.

Alloy Rims & Wheels

Shiny new wheels catch the eye of both car lovers and thieves. So while having alloy wheels will make your car look great, your car’s wheels will be at a higher risk for theft.

Upgraded Car Stereos

If you plan to upgrade your car stereo, make sure you have an excellent alarm system in place. Thieves will remove head units right out of the dash, causing a loss from theft and damage to your car.

Tinted Windows

Tinted windows add privacy to cars, and may help you hide that new stereo system. But they can also impede on your vision while driving. If you do plan to tint your windows, speak with your insurance provider about the acceptable tint for your policy and regional safety regulations.

Car Modifications That Should Not Increase Your Premiums

Since these modifications actually improve the safety and theft prevention of vehicles, they should not affect your insurance premiums. And if they do, these mods are more likely to decrease your premiums.

  • Installing an alarm system
  • Adding a tracking device
  • The use of locking wheel nuts on alloy wheels
  • Installing parking sensors
  • Installing a tow bar

You can also help reduce your premiums by parking in a secure garage at home. This will reduce your vehicle’s risk of theft and damage.

Car modifications can improve your overall enjoyment of your car. But before making any changes, speak with your Ottawa car insurance providers. This will save you from potentially voiding your policy and driving uninsured. It will also help you weigh the costs and benefits of certain car modifications so your premiums won’t go through the roof.

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