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June 28, 2022

Does Auto Insurance Cover Custom Features?

Auto manufacturers often offer numerous interior and exterior accessories on different vehicle models.  These bells and whistles are often very nice additions to your vehicle, but at times, you might want to add custom parts to the vehicle in order to make even more unique to you.  
young female driver holding keys to car
Still, by customizing your vehicle, you might increase its value. As a result, you might pose more of a cost risk to your auto insurer if you ever need to file a policy claim. Therefore, custom parts are unlikely to be automatically covered by the average auto insurance plan. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t add custom parts coverage to your policy. 

Most major insurers offer custom parts coverage, and all you need to do is ask your agent if it’s possible to add it to your policy. Still, since benefits vary, make sure you get the right balance of coverage. 

Why do auto policies not cover custom parts? 
Auto insurers assume a different cost risk for every vehicle model they cover. The vehicle’s value, performance specifications and usage factors all impact this risk.  

When you make augmentations to your vehicle, you might increase its value. In the event that you file a claim, you therefore have a higher risk of costing the insurer money. Therefore, the insurer is likely only to cover original manufacturer parts and features under its base terms. To get the additional benefits necessary to cover enhancements, you will need customer parts coverage. 

Coverage for Custom or Modified Vehicles 
Vehicle customizations are likely to cost you a lot of time, effort and money. Once you add them to the vehicle, you will usually need to add a custom/aftermarket parts coverage endorsement to extend your physical damage benefits to these modifications. 

This specialized policy supplement may pay for the damage to vehicle modifications like: 

  • Special tires or customized wheels
  • Undercarriage lighting, fog lights, camper shells
  • Custom chrome, decals, paint work, spoilers or running boards
  • Stereo or entertainment system customizations
  • Custom interior upgrades or upholstery 

Usually, your policy will only pay up to a certain limit for the combined losses of all items. So, if you have $5,000 worth of coverage, then you will receive $5,000 total for all damage costs. Therefore, even if multiple custom parts get damaged, you will only receive a maximum of $5,000 from your policy. Additionally, the deductibles within your existing physical damage coverage will often still apply. 

Please note, if you have an antique, classic or collectible car, then you will need specialty insurance for this vehicle. Though similar to custom parts coverage, this is a separate policy that works a bit differently. Therefore, work with your insurer to deduce which of these modified auto policies are best for you. 

Categories: Blog

Tags: auto insurance

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