January 31, 2010

Special Types Of Auto Insurance Coverage For Customized Vehicles

Have you ever seen the TV show Pimp my Ride?’ In this program, the host, a famous rap star, accepts videos from viewers who ask him to help them out with their cars. Their cars are old, beat up, full of rust, held together by duct tape, and in some cases, it is hard to believe that they are even still running. When selected to participate on the show, their old cars are given an extreme makeover with no boundaries. And when I say no boundaries I mean chrome grills, spinners, hydraulics, spoilers, flat screen TVs, fish tanks, full surround entertainment systems, mini casinos, etc. So now that the lucky winners on the show have got their cars all supped up, how do they get them properly insured?

If you have invested a large amount of money to customize your vehicle, you may be eligible for special auto insurance coverage. Most car insurance companies offer to cover your add-ons at an additional cost. This means adding on an endorsement to your current coverage for collision to cover the modifications. It is in your best interest to shop around different auto insurance companies to get the best rate. Keep in mind that each company offers a different amount covered under your endorsement. This amount usually only covers the value of the customized parts, not the expense you pay to replace or repair them. This means that the often pricey installation bill for labor from a mechanic shop will not be covered.

If you are considering customizing your vehicle for the first time, here are a few things to consider: First of all contact your insurance company and let them know exactly which modifications will take place. Make sure that your insurance company will cover these, and if not, you may have to find another company that does. Some companies may be hesitant to insure owners of specialized vehicles under the assumption that these drivers may be ‘wild drivers,’ tend to speed, and the possibility of a high payout to cover the customized parts and equipment in case of an accident.

Overall, all other factors that are taken into consideration when getting an auto insurance policy remain the same, whether your vehicle is customized or not. So when shopping around, use to your advantage any information that may help you lower your monthly payment such as good grades if you are a student, a perfect driving record, home owners insurance, etc. Expect to pay a little more for your customizations, but with enough research, you should be able to find coverage for your needs.