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Insurance and Modifications


gumpy000
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Hi all,

I have maybe a stupid question here but a few of us at work have been discussing this...

 

Would we have to declare our Cobra/milltek/ scorpion exhaust to our insurance companies?

 

 

I have had a look through here and some say yes, some say no. I liked the point that someone made on here that if we went to quick fit and had a new exhaust, it will most probably not be a genuine 350z exhaust but an aftermarket, or if we had new brake pads, they wont be genuine (mainly because of cost) so...

 

Unless we have remaped or put something on the car which clearly improves the power, do they really need to know???

 

I cant get my head round which is right and which is wrong. Surely not everyone who put these on, tell their insurance company? If they did have an accident, would their insurance not pay out and void their insurance?

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What,s worse £100 for extra insurance or £5000 plus to replace your car for not declaring ANY mods ? Shortsighted if you don,t.

 

It's worse than that, if they cancelled your premium and you injured another party you could be liable for hundreds of thousands in damages.

 

I declare all mods and rarely find it makes any difference to the premium, one insurer actually dropped the price when I declared mods!

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An interesting point though; assuming you should declare any mods to your insurance company what about those the general public that replace brake pads with aftermarket ones from Halfrauds, or an exhaust from KwikFit, or change from the manufacturer's fitted Bridgestones to Falkens, or their local garage fits pattern track rod ends that aren't made by the original car company. My dad's Volvo has aftermarket pads, discs, exhaust, tyres etc - not performance upgrades as he only got them to save paying Volvo prices, but they differ from manufacturer's OEM stuff; should he tell his insurance company? He hasn't and therefore, technically, they could wriggle out of a claim, but that probably also applies to 60% of the cars on Britains roads - are they all technically uninsured?

 

Who decides what makes a change from OEM into a modification - be interested to hear from the insurance guys on this issue as I've had the same conversation in the pub many a time.

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This must be the most common insurance-related question. There is some helpful information here:

 

www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/PUBLICATIONS/ombudsman-news/46/46_non_disclosure_insurance.htm

www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/ombudsman-news/79/79-motor-insurance.htm

 

In general, yes, they need to know. But that is, fortunately, subject to common sense. If you changed dome lights to LEDs, fitted a stubby aerial, or replaced brake rotors with non-OEM, but equivalent ones, then you don't really need to bother. If you have fitted a twin-turbo kit, are now running 800bhp and driving around the hood on drag radials then you are virtually guaranteed to be refused a payout in case things go bad.

 

The principle here is that if they would have refused to insure you had they known about the mods, then they can refuse to pay out, if they would have charged you more then they can reduce the payout proportionately, so if your premium would have been 25% more then they can reduce the payout by 25%.

 

It depends how risk-adverse you are and how much do you stand to gain from your non-disclosure. Obviously you have to cause an at-fault accident for it to matter in a first place, so if you drive like a granny once a month you might as well not bother. If you are planning on having lots of mods you should find a sympathetic insurer, it would probably not actually be any more expensive if you shop around.

Edited by comrade
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The easy answer is "What does your policy say?". If you follow that, you cannot go wrong.

 

Some (like Admiral) want to know about anything that isn't on a base-spec car: In the case of the 350Z, that would include Rays if fitted as an option. In the case of an average 3-series, it could take a couple of pages! Some insurers (like A-Plan, who I'm with) want to know about mods, but unless you're going for massive power they won't load the policy: For example, my track slag has no interior which is covered under 'interior changes'. Some insurers (like Sky, who I was with) didn't care about factory options on my 911, but did care about official extras I'd added after purchase, like a sports exhaust.

 

Follow the policy wording. Really, to be safe just tell them about everything: Some will care, some won't, but either way at least you'll still be covered. Never make the assumption that it's so small that they won't care (like a stubby), as that's how you end up with issues.

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An interesting point though; assuming you should declare any mods to your insurance company what about those the general public that replace brake pads with aftermarket ones from Halfrauds, or an exhaust from KwikFit, or change from the manufacturer's fitted Bridgestones to Falkens, or their local garage fits pattern track rod ends that aren't made by the original car company. My dad's Volvo has aftermarket pads, discs, exhaust, tyres etc - not performance upgrades as he only got them to save paying Volvo prices, but they differ from manufacturer's OEM stuff; should he tell his insurance company? He hasn't and therefore, technically, they could wriggle out of a claim, but that probably also applies to 60% of the cars on Britains roads - are they all technically uninsured?

 

Who decides what makes a change from OEM into a modification - be interested to hear from the insurance guys on this issue as I've had the same conversation in the pub many a time.

 

I think the thing here Neil is your Dad has put like for like replacements on his Volvo, not genuine OEM but similar spec. If he fits a mahoosive bore exhaust etc then maybe different.

 

At the end of the day always best to check with the insurer and make sure you are covered. I replaced OEM Jaguar wheels with different OEM Jaguar wheels but still declared them as they were not factory fitted. If I had a Zed with standard alloys and fitted Rays I would do the same :)

Edited by spursmaddave
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Always tell insurers about any modifications. As you mention, an insurer could refuse to pay out in the event of a claim, or pay out for third party damage & then sue you to reclaim it!

 

Our scheme is mod-friendly anyway & not all mods increase premiums. Honesty is the best policy!

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I always wonder what people do when they fit MPSS tyres. Do you need to tell your insurer that you`ve fitted high performance tyres ? and stubby aerials and Z badges - a cosmetic modification ?

And even if the insurance company do not increase the premium do you get the - "Thank you for ringing up, I`ll make a note of that. There is no increase in the premium so that will just be the £35 admin charge, thank you very much and have a nice day" ...... :ohmy:

Edited by Wayne370Z
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Unless you are fitting racing slick tyres to your car then no need to inform of 'performance' tyres, same with discs and pads as long as they are designed for road use. Aerial & badges I think we can take as not necessary it is basically anything that adds value or performance, I am sure the insurers like Tim can help if anyone is not sure :)

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  • 1 month later...

Just had a good look through this topic.

 

It looks like I need to declare the Scorpion exhaust that was fitted to the car when I bought it.

 

Since ownership I have added spacers, should these also be declared as a modification? :shrug:

 

I've also just had the Rays re-sprayed Anthracite grey, surely this doesn't need to be declared, or does it?

 

Worth knowing before I ring my insurers :)

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Some (like Admiral) want to know about anything that isn't on a base-spec car: In the case of the 350Z, that would include Rays if fitted as an option. In the case of an average 3-series, it could take a couple of pages!

 

Thats an interesting one. :scare: Im with Admiral for the 4th year running and at no point have they asked me if my 350z or 123d has any factory extras over the base-spec version. Both were/are pretty loaded with factory optional extras so i am going to have to check my policy wording now and see what it says.

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Yes, always declare mods! We can cover mods on a like for like basis :)

 

I think the main point here was what needs to be declared and what doesnt. If you have a new exhaust at kwik fit and they fit a generic walker exhaust rather than a OEM Nissan (presumably cos generic one is cheaper), does that need to be declared or not. And how is that different to say someone fitting a stainless scorpion exhaust, when any performance gains from changing the exhaust in either cases are more than likely next to nothing unless the car is then remapped.

 

In my experience its a bit of a grey area. Most insurance companies ive spoken to said they didnt care about me changing my exhaust as long as it didnt increase the performance. I said the only reason I was changing it was because a) cheaper than replacing with a genuine Nissan one and B) stainless so better quality and hopefully last longer. I guess technically I should have got the car on the dyno and checked to see if it now had 1bhp more than originally and if so let insurance know. But on the other hand, should it actually have reduced the performance by 1bhp I wonder if the insurance company would reduce the insurance premium accordingly?

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I would always say to let insurers know of any change from factory fit but wouldn't expect an increase in premium if the performance isn't increased.

 

But what about factory fit options? On a Zed those are pretty slim. The GT pack is usually attached to the model on the V5, so you know about that, but what about Rays, Sat Nav, Alezan seats, Aluminium kick plates etc? Those may not add much value or even desirability to the thief, but on a Porsche or BMW, the factory fitted options list can be worth £20k and the length of your arm.

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The easy answer is "What does your policy say?". If you follow that, you cannot go wrong.

 

Some (like Admiral) want to know about anything that isn't on a base-spec car: In the case of the 350Z, that would include Rays if fitted as an option. In the case of an average 3-series, it could take a couple of pages! Some insurers (like A-Plan, who I'm with) want to know about mods, but unless you're going for massive power they won't load the policy: For example, my track slag has no interior which is covered under 'interior changes'. Some insurers (like Sky, who I was with) didn't care about factory options on my 911, but did care about official extras I'd added after purchase, like a sports exhaust.

 

Follow the policy wording. Really, to be safe just tell them about everything: Some will care, some won't, but either way at least you'll still be covered. Never make the assumption that it's so small that they won't care (like a stubby), as that's how you end up with issues.

 

I rang for a quote from Admiral who stated that they wouldn't insure a 350 with mods!

 

I'm also with Flux now . . . . .

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The easy answer is "What does your policy say?". If you follow that, you cannot go wrong.

 

Some (like Admiral) want to know about anything that isn't on a base-spec car: In the case of the 350Z, that would include Rays if fitted as an option. In the case of an average 3-series, it could take a couple of pages! Some insurers (like A-Plan, who I'm with) want to know about mods, but unless you're going for massive power they won't load the policy: For example, my track slag has no interior which is covered under 'interior changes'. Some insurers (like Sky, who I was with) didn't care about factory options on my 911, but did care about official extras I'd added after purchase, like a sports exhaust.

 

Follow the policy wording. Really, to be safe just tell them about everything: Some will care, some won't, but either way at least you'll still be covered. Never make the assumption that it's so small that they won't care (like a stubby), as that's how you end up with issues.

 

I rang for a quote from Admiral who stated that they wouldn't insure a 350 with mods!

 

I'm also with Flux now . . . . .

 

i do think admiral make it up as they go along some time or the telehandlers have very little idea about what there doing

 

as i insured my is200 with them told them it was lowered with wheels no issue

 

my friend at the time had a civic fitted coilovers told him he had changed the suspension and they told him unless it was out back to stock they couldn't continue his policy

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