May 5, 2010

Customized Vehicles And Their Effect On Auto Insurance Premiums

Ever since the days of the Model-T road warriors, motor heads, and car connoisseurs around the globe have customized their rides in different, unique and interesting ways. Customized vehicles come in all shapes and sizes. Some customized cars may simply have modified suspension and wheels, or a TV in the back seat. Others have tricked-out’ engines, chrome plating, tinted windows, and personalized vinyl graphics. Most owners customize their vehicles for the following reasons: They want their cars to perform better, and stand out from the crowd. Sure, customized cars may look cool, but the modifications are rarely cheap. Also, before you buy a customized ride, or convert your run-of-the-mill sedan into a head-turning hot rod, you should also consider this: Customizing your car will most likely have a major effect on your auto insurance premium. This article contains some helpful advice for you to consider before you purchase (or build) the customized vehicle of your dreams.

How do insurance companies assess auto insurance premiums for customized vehicles (as opposed to quotes for unmodified, factory-built cars and trucks)? Actually, many auto insurance companies are reluctant to insure customized cars at all. The reason is the many inherent risks. For example, the costs of replacing and repairing customized vehicles are understandably much higher than the costs of replacing or repairing ‘normal’ automobiles. Frequently, customized car parts are tough to find, and the modifications usually cost more to repair. If you’re lucky enough to get your customized ride insured by a reputable insurance company, they will almost certainly make you pay higher deductibles than you would with a regular car insurance policy.

Here’s a tip for customized car aficionados: Shop around for auto insurance premiums from auto insurance companies that specialize in insuring modified cars. Such specialty companies insure vehicles on a car-by-car basis. First, they take into account the original factory condition of the car. Then, the insurance company will consider the car’s modifications. Based on these factors, the insurance company will determine auto insurance premiums.

Sounds good, right? But buyers beware: Many customized car insurance companies place restrictions and exceptions with their policies. For example, they may insure your customized car the same as they would any vehicle; up to a certain number of miles. Ask questions. Read the fine print. If you have a regular vehicle and are in the process of customizing it, make sure you have adequate coverage while you’re making the modifications. Finally, make sure you get your car customized by a professional. For your safety, and the safety of your passengers and fellow road warriors, you want to know your car was customized in a safe and correct way.