Making modifications to your car or truck? Adding new exhaust? New wheels and tires? Lift kit? Lighting? Whatever the change might be, it is important to ask about adding customized equipment coverage to your auto policy. This will help protect the value of your vehicle and the investments you’ve made in it.
What is customized equipment coverage?
The basis of most auto policies in the marketplace is valuing cars on an actual cash value basis. This means that the insurance carriers are valuing the cars based off of the information provided from the VIN of the vehicle. Think of the VIN as the DNA of the car. This allows a carrier to see what features and specifications a car has.
When things are added to, or modified, on the vehicle, this changes the “DNA” of the car. Customized equipment coverage is an additional coverage that allows a carrier to account for changes made in the “DNA.”
Most common customization that we see is aftermarket parts, custom paint jobs, light kits, wheel and tire changes, etc.
How much does it cost?
The answer that everyone loves to hear – it varies.
It all depends on how much has been modified. Is it a $1,000 modification to the vehicle, or a $30,000 build out? We ask people to consider the cost of the coverage relative to the value of the parts and modifications you’ve made to your vehicle. If you’ve invested thousands of dollars in your vehicle, the cost of customized equipment coverage can be well worth the peace of mind it provides.
What happens in a claim?
If you have an accident or your vehicle is stolen, customized equipment coverage can help cover the cost of replacing or repairing the custom parts you’ve added. It can also cover the cost of cosmetic damages, such as a custom paint job, that may not be covered by your basic auto policy.
It is important to have documentation of what changes you have made to the vehicle. Pictures and receipts will be your friend.
What about add-ons from the factory?
Sometimes when you are getting a new car, options and accessories are added on at the factory before you even take delivery of the car. If you’ve purchased a new car with factory-installed customizations, such as a sunroof or sound system, those items may be covered by your auto policy.
Before adding customized equipment coverage, it’s important to review your auto policy and make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered. Let us help you with that.
We show you the coverage limits and any applicable deductibles to make sure the coverage is sufficient for your needs. If you don’t inform your agent you have customization, we cannot help you cover them correctly. It is important to discuss these changes to make sure you are protected. Last thing that you want is your investment in custom equipment not being covered in a claim.