Customized Cars: 3 Things To Consider When Adding Customized Parts And Equipment Coverage To Your Insurance Policy
Americans' love affair with cars has only increased in recent years, with more and more Americans looking into customizing or modifying their cars. Whether you like upgrading from original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts to high-performance aftermarket parts or simply modifying the outer appearance of your cars, it's important that you protect your investment by purchasing additional coverage with your car insurance provider. In particular, you should look into adding customized parts and equipment coverage to your policy. This added coverage will protect any additional changes you may have made to your ride – whether it be adding new equipment, devices and accessories or modifying the appearance or performance of specific parts. While this type of coverage can be beneficial, here are 3 things you should consider before signing your name on the dotted lines.
The Type of Modifications Covered
While the customized parts and equipment coverage is supposed to protect any additional changes or modifications that you have made to your ride should you get into an accident, read the fine print to make sure that every type of modification or alteration you make will be covered. In particular, most customizations can be separated into three distinct categories: technological, performance and aesthetic.
Technological modifications generally include the installation of stereo systems, radios and navigation systems. Aesthetic modifications usually include parts that alter the outer appearance of the vehicle. For example, these modifications include the installation of spoilers, custom wheels, special carpeting or custom paint. Performance modifications may include any changes or alterations made to the engine or to specific parts that boost the horsepower or torque of the car.
Make sure that the coverage clearly lists out the modifications that are covered. For example, if you have installed custom decals to your car, you definitely want to make sure that the custom decals will be considered as an aesthetic modification. You should also make sure that the coverage will cover the actual cost of the brand of the custom parts you purchased.
There are usually limitations to the amount of coverage that can be offered. Determine whether there is an upper cap to the amount that will be paid out by the insurance company and take that into account. In particular, you want to make sure that the limit will fully cover the type of modifications that you have made; otherwise adding this extra coverage to your insurance might not be worth it.
For example, if you spent over $10,000 on custom parts and modifications, you need to make sure that the coverage limit matches how much you spent. If this additional coverage will only pay out a maximum of $2,500, it might not be worth adding this coverage to your insurance. This is because you'll be paying extra for your insurance just for this coverage. If the coverage will not cover the expense of repairing or replacing all of the damaged custom parts, you might be better off saving the extra money you would otherwise be spending on the extra coverage and saving it up in the event of an accident.
Type of Documentation Needed to Make a Claim
Another important factor to consider before adding the coverage is whether there are any specific processes or paperwork that must be followed or filed for your insurance policy to acknowledge the custom parts. For example, some auto insurance policies will only pay to repair or replace damaged custom parts if you have a photo of the custom part and paperwork from a mechanic that states when the part was installed. You might also need paperwork and receipts that clearly state the value of the part for you to claim the full value of the part.
In the event that you customized your car a long time ago and no longer have this paperwork available or around, you might not be able to claim damages to custom parts in the event that you get into an accident.
Car lovers who spend an extraordinary amount of time customizing and modifying their cars should really consider getting this extra coverage if the terms and conditions of the coverage meets their needs. This type of coverage can help protect your car and make sure that aftermarket parts will be repaired or replaced should they get damaged. This way, you won't have wasted money on customizations and modifications should you get into an accident.