Modding your vehicle is an excellent way to personalize it and make it stand out from stock vehicles. What’s great about modifications is that they can improve both the appearance and the functionality of your car. Now, while you may be willing to spend the money to modify your vehicle, you may not want to spend all of those precious dollars repairing or replacing those mods if something goes wrong.
Well, that’s where a comprehensive insurance policy can help you. Many people living in Connecticut ask the million-dollar question, “Are my vehicle’s mods covered in Connecticut?” Well, they are, but you have to read the fine print and make sure that they’re covered in your policy.
This article, through the use of an example, discusses at length what you must do to ensure that your vehicle’s mods are covered by your policy.
What Happens If You Don’t Follow the Correct Steps?
Consider this hypothetical situation: You have a vehicle that has a custom paint job. This modification is such that it requires a complete repaint in the event of damage. Therefore, to prevent paying the price of those costs, you must get coverage for it in your insurance policy.
Now you speak to your insurance agent about it, and they list the modification under special equipment endorsement. You also get it covered for a particular value and pay money to get it covered in your insurance policy. If this was any other situation, that should be enough. However, in the case of vehicle mod coverage in Connecticut, it’s not. Here’s what will happen if you don’t read the fine print and try to file a claim.
The insurer will reject your claim because they are not liable for the paint job. They may even claim that the insurance agent made an error, quoting that the coverage was applicable to specific models only. Therefore, the agent will be responsible for this misunderstanding.
The insurer may show disbelief to the cost of your paint job. As a result, they may decline to pay the cost of its repairs in the event of its damage.
Why Do Insurers Deny Vehicle Mod Coverage in Connecticut?
It’s important to understand why an insurer denied your claim in this hypothetical situation if you want to prevent this from happening to you in the real world. Vehicle mod coverage in Connecticut can be tricky, so you must be sure to tick every box to ensure you get the coverage you need. If you don’t follow the correct steps, here are some reasons why an insurer won’t provide you with vehicle mod coverage.
The Insurer Is Unable to Understand the Customer
It’s not uncommon for insurers to be unable to understand their niche customers. If you buy a policy from an insurer that doesn’t specialize in auto insurance, there’s a high chance that they may make errors like in this case. Car modification is a niche practice. Therefore, very few people include vehicle mod coverage in their insurance policy. As a result, many insurers are not well-informed on the specifics of modification. So, they aren’t aware of the costs and the specific coverages you need to protect your vehicle. An ill-informed insurer may also not accept the original cost of the modification.
The Insurance Agent Is Not Specialized
Insurance agents that are not specialized are most likely going to make a mistake. This is because they’re going out of their area of expertise to accommodate your coverages. Therefore, they may not be aware of some of the specifics of the coverages in a comprehensive insurance policy. Even insurance agents make mistakes. This doesn’t mean that they are deliberately trying to cheat you.
The Insurer Will Rely on the Policy Language
Insures may rely on policy language to justify denying your claim. So, if your policy doesn’t explicitly state the coverage you’re filing a claim for, you may end up getting no protection for the damage to your vehicle.
What Should You Do to Ensure You Acquire Vehicle Mod Coverage?
Acquiring vehicle mod coverage in Connecticut is not difficult if you know what to do. Here’s what you must keep in mind.
Buy a Policy from the Right Insurer
If you want to ensure your vehicle is protected, you have to buy a policy from the right insurance company. You must look for an insurer that has experience with automobile modifications specifically. Many insurers that provide automobile coverage don’t have the expertise in mods. Therefore, do your research before you settle for an insurer. Read what other users have written about their experience with your prospective insurers. It’s also best if you set up an appointment with a representative of the company so that you can gain some insight into the insurer’s knowledge and experience of these matters.
It’s a good idea to secure an agreed value auto policy if your modified vehicle is valuable. This type of policy is also known as a replacement-cost policy. If you have this type of policy, you will have to settle on the value of your car and modifications. You’ll need an appraiser to secure this policy and determine the specifics with your insurer. With this policy, you’ll receive the agreed amount if your modified vehicle is totally damaged.
You must note that an agreed value policy may increase your premium. Therefore, you’ll be paying more money every year than you would otherwise. However, the advantage of this is that it can save you money in the long run. If your car is totaled, this policy will provide you with a sum of money that you can use to replace your vehicle. If you don’t have this policy for your modified car, you may end up paying a lot more money to replace it if it’s totaled. That said, make sure to speak to your insurance broker to learn whether this policy is best for you. Some policies may seem good on paper, but they may not be the best for your particular condition.
Deal with a Specialized Insurance Agent
The insurance agent you deal with is just as important as the insurer from whom you buy your policy. Your insurance agent should be specialized in the niche of modified vehicles. A specialized agent will be aware of the specific risks that come with modified vehicles. Therefore, they can inform you on what policy you should get for your car. Also, they can let you know which coverages you can remove to lower your premiums.
Hire an Insurance Broker
If you feel you’re in the dark about your insurance policy, consider hiring an insurance broker. An insurance broker is not the same as an insurance agent. An insurance broker is not a representative of an insurance company like an agent is. In addition to that, they also work for you, not other insurance providers. This means that they can help you select an insurance policy that benefits you. So, what does an insurance broker do?
An insurance broker is a professional in the industry who possesses a significant amount on various types of insurance. However, some insurance brokers specialize in specific types of insurance. This way, their knowledge of the ins and outs of that type of insurance is unparalleled. Whether a broker is specialized or not, they can help you select a policy. They provide you with inside information on the industry. Therefore, this knowledge allows them to know which insurance providers are good at specific policies. This way, you can ensure that your policy includes vehicle mod coverage in Connecticut.
Insurance brokers can also help you get the best prices for your insurance policy. This way, you can ensure that you get the coverage you need while staying in your budget.
By following the precautionary steps above, you can ensure that your mods are covered. This can save you a lot of money if you’re part of an unfortunate situation involving your vehicle.
What Should You Do to Ensure You Acquire Vehicle Mod Coverage?
Now that we’ve discussed what you must do to ensure you get the coverages you need, it’s time to discuss what exactly counts as a vehicle modification. This way, you’ll know what mods you can secure coverage for in your insurance policy. Here’s a list of common vehicle modifications that insurers typically cover.
- Strut/sway bars
- Chrome rims and bumpers
- Phone mount inside your vehicle
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Custom paint jobs
- Lift kits
- Swapping the engine of the vehicle
- Rearview cameras
- Stereo systems in your vehicle
- CD or DVD players in your vehicle
- Anti-theft system
- Daytime running lamps
Many modifications don’t necessarily increase the value of the vehicle. This is because they typically void the warranty of your vehicle. However, while almost all mods will enhance your driving experience, some mods improve the safety of your car. So, it can be an excellent decision to invest in such features as we discuss later.
Can Some Vehicle Mods Lower Your Premium?
Yes, some vehicle mods can reduce your insurance premium. These modifications should specifically help improve the safety features of your car. A vehicle that has better safety features will less likely get into accidents. Also, if you do get into an accident, the effect it has on your car may not be as bad as otherwise. In addition to that, safety features that prevent theft can also reduce your insurance premium. This is because it is less likely to be stolen. Therefore, there’s a lower chance for your insurer to pay for the damages in the event that some parts or the entire vehicle are stolen.
Safety Vehicle Modifications That Can Reduce Your Premium
Some safety vehicle modifications that can reduce your premium are as follows. If you have any of these mods installed in your vehicle, get in touch with your agent right away. There’s a good chance that your insurer will provide you with a discount for installing these mods. Just make sure that you secure vehicle mod coverage in Connecticut from a specialized insurer before looking for discounts.
- Daytime running lamps: These lamps run at all times while you’re vehicle is switched on. The lights are bright enough to be visible during the day. Therefore, it’s easier for other drivers and pedestrians to see your vehicle during the day. As a result, there’s a lower chance that you’ll get caught up in an accident.
- Rearview cameras: Sometimes, your mirrors aren’t enough for you to see what’s right behind your vehicle. Thus, in that case, rearview cameras can help. They can provide you with a full view of what’s behind when you are backing up and help with blind-spot detection.
- Anti-theft systems: Anti-theft systems include GPS tracking devices, alarms, a LoJack, OnStar service, and more. These modifications make it harder for people to break into your vehicle.
While there’s a good chance that safety modifications can reduce your premium, it may also have the opposite effect. This is because some of these modifications are expensive. Therefore, it will cost your insurer a lot to repair or replace it in the event of its damage. Thus, you should consult your agent about the effect of the mods on your premium before you install them in your car. You can also consider getting help from an insurance broker to guide you on these details.
Last Few Words
While it’s possible to secure vehicle mod coverage in Connecticut, it’s not as simple as securing other policies. There are quite a few things to take care of, and the experience and specialization of your insurer provider matter a lot. It’s best not to tackle this process alone. An insurance broker can help you find the right policy, at the right price.
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