Consumers Advised on Auto Insurance Implications of Vehicle Upgrades

In a new FAQ, the writers at Online Auto Insurance explain how vehicle modifications could impact premiums.

Online PR News – 06-January-2011 – – According to, consumers who are considering altering their vehicles may want to contact their insurers to ask how much is car insurance for the same type of vehicle with the proposed upgrades as opposed to sticking to the factory specifications.

In some cases, there may be no difference at all. This may, however, be only because the insurer will not provide any coverage for the upgrades.

“Most automobile policies only cover items that were permanently installed in your vehicle by the original manufacturer,” according to the Illinois Department of Insurance. “Specialized equipment such as conversion van upgrades, car phones, stereo systems, etc. probably aren’t covered unless you bought special coverage for more premium.”


When it comes to more significant changes — such as engine modifications and additions of performance parts — not notifying a coverage provider about the modifications could have serious insurance implications.

The majority of insurance companies base a prospective policyholder’s rate partially on the type of vehicle that is to be insured. If the vehicle is associated with higher-than-average costs or higher-than-average accident rates, the price of coverage also could end up being higher than average. So if a policyholder modifies a car to add horsepower or to increase performance, they could also be upping their risk of getting into an accident, which is a piece of information that would be valuable to an insurer. Even though it might amount to a slight increase in premiums, an upgrade of this type should still be reported to a coverage provider. Having an increase in premiums is much more bearable than having a company deny a claim based on the fact that there were unreported vehicle factors that increased the likelihood of getting into an accident.

Some modifications can actually cut the cost of coverage. Installation of anti-theft or safety features, for instance, should definitely be reported to an insurer, as a discount may be in order.

To access the full FAQ, readers can go to and click on the “Questions” link in the upper right corner. Visitors to the site will also find other informative resource pages and a free-to-use quote-comparison generator that can help jump-start the search for a quality policy.

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