Car Insurance for Modified Cars (2024)

Modified-car insurance covers vehicle parts and equipment not installed by the original manufacturer.

Alani Asis
Written byAlani Asis
Alani Asis
Alani Asis
  • 3 years of content writing

  • Bylines with leading financial publications

Alani is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. She aims to make complex topics more approachable through fun, digestible content.

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Sarah Archambault
Sarah Archambault
  • Experienced personal finance writer

  • Background working with banks and insurance companies

Sarah enjoys helping people find smarter ways to spend their money. She covers auto financing, banking, credit cards, credit health, insurance, and personal loans.

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Updated July 11, 2024

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*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on July 11, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from July 11, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

Car modifications serve many purposes: enhanced performance, aesthetics, convenience, safety — you name it. Unfortunately, standard car insurance policies don’t always cover aftermarket parts or classic cars. So you’ll likely need modified-car insurance, which could cost more.

If you have a modified car, be sure to inform your insurance agent to update your current policy.[1] If your current insurer doesn’t offer modified-car insurance, you can compare car insurance quotes to find a policy that meets your needs.

Quick Facts
  • Custom parts and equipment coverage offers financial protection for many types of car modifications.

  • Some types of modifications can lead to an insurance discount.

  • The best insurance companies for modified cars are Progressive, Elephant, and Hagerty.

What to consider before modifying your car

Modified-car insurance is important because it protects your alterations from accidents, theft, weather damage, and more. If you fail to notify your insurance company to update your coverage to account for those modifications, you may have to pay for repairs or replacements out of pocket.

Before you modify a car or add any aftermarket customizations, it’s a good idea to assess the long-term effects of those changes. Consider how modifications may affect your insurance rates since you have to make premium payments to keep the car insured.

Will vehicle modifications raise your car insurance rates?

Generally, vehicle modifications raise car insurance rates, but this isn’t always the case. Modifications lead to higher premiums because repairing or replacing modified parts is typically more expensive. As a result, you end up paying more.

Before you make any modifications to your car, it’s a good idea to ask your insurance company how those changes could increase your auto insurance rates.

Are you buying a car that’s already modified?

Just because you didn’t make modifications to a car doesn’t mean you can ignore them. When you buy a used car, it’s best to have a mechanic inspect the car before you complete the purchase. Make sure you’re aware of any modifications so you can get an accurate quote for car insurance. The car’s value will influence how much you spend on auto insurance.

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Different types of car modifications

The more your modifications increase the value of your car, the more likely your car insurance rates will go up. Some auto insurance companies also consider whether you installed the new parts yourself or had them professionally installed.

Modifying a car involves swapping out the factory parts or adding aftermarket parts. Examples of common car modifications include:

  • Custom paint

  • Fender, hood, and body upgrades

  • Trailer and towing parts

  • Truck bed liners and bed accessories

  • Seats and upholstery

  • Dash systems and gauges

  • Headlights and taillights

  • Exterior accessory lighting

  • Interior lighting

  • Sound system and audio accessories

  • Alarms and security products

  • Mobile TV and video cameras

Car insurance coverage for modified cars

When shopping for insurance, it’s important to compare both standard coverage options and modified coverage add-ons to find a policy that fits your unique needs and budget.[2]

Here’s a closer look at some of the types of coverage for modified cars:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/d7333ddf2e/car-and-driving-96x96-orange_046-car-accident.svg

    Liability coverage

    Required in every state except New Hampshire, liability insurance pays for the injured party’s property damages and medical bills if you’re at fault in the event of an accident.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/665da91bf7/comprehensive-coverage.svg

    Comprehensive coverage

    Comprehensive insurance covers repairs and replacements for your vehicle if it’s damaged due to a non-collision event, like severe weather, theft, or vandalism. Your lender may require you to carry this coverage if you finance your vehicle.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/31bb162db0/accident-forgiveness.svg

    Collision coverage

    Collision insurance provides coverage to your vehicle if you hit another car or object, like a fence or mailbox, regardless of fault.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/5285c4cd74/uninsured-or-underinsured-motorist-coverage.svg

    Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

    While not required by every state, having uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can help pay for you and your passenger’s medical expenses and vehicle damages if an uninsured or underinsured driver is at fault in a car accident.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/c09380c3c0/car-dashboard-96x96-orange_045-airbag.svg

    Personal injury protection coverage

    Also known as PIP, this coverage helps pay for medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses, and other costs associated with an accident, regardless of fault. This type of policy is required in no-fault states.[3]

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/bee953a0c5/broken-tail-light.svg

    Custom parts and equipment coverage

    This type of modified-car insurance is an optional coverage that covers the cost of replacing and repairing aftermarket parts, like headlights and sound systems.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/7d6bccfe65/car-and-driving-96x96-blue_019-car.svg

    Classic car insurance

    Specifically made for classic cars, this optional insurance provides liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage for classic cars 1025 years old.[1]

Companies with additional coverage for modified cars

Not all insurance companies offer coverage options to help protect enhancements and modifications on your vehicle. And some types of add-on coverages could affect your rate. Check your current policy for coverage options.

You can also research companies that offer modified-car insurance to find the best fit, including the following:

  • Progressive: Progressive offers custom parts and equipment coverage with a coverage limit of $5,000. It pays for repairs and replacements to the modified parts of your vehicle.

  • Elephant: Elephant auto insurance provides custom parts and equipment coverage of up to $20,000 for custom parts. You must purchase a full-coverage policy to add this coverage.

  • Farmers: Farmers Insurance advertises aftermarket parts coverage, which you can add to your full-coverage policy. But the company doesn’t specify coverage limits on its website.

  • Hagerty: Hagerty is an insurance company that specializes in coverage for collector, classic, and modified cars. Coverage for modified cars is equal to a value that you and your insurer agree upon.

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Best modified-car insurance companies

Before you choose a modified-car insurance policy, it’s important to shop around to find the best possible coverage for your needs. If you need modified-car insurance, take a look at some of the best insurance companies for modified cars.

Progressive: Best for coverage options and discount opportunities

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JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
819
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-ten scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
8.4/10
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$77/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$134/mo

Progressive offers a coverage limit of $5,000 for custom parts and equipment. It also has a menu of coverage options to increase protection for your customized car, including accident forgiveness, gap, and rideshare coverage.

Pros
  • AM Best financial strength rating of A+ (Superior)

  • Rewards program for safe drivers

Cons
  • No available anti-theft device discount

  • More customer complaints than average, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

Read more driver reviews of Progressive
Susan - July 7, 2024
Verified

Too expensive

I believe they charge way too much considering my excellent driving record, minimal daily mileage, zero accidents, and senior citizen status.

Rose - July 7, 2024
Verified

Unsatisfied with Progressive

I had Progressive and they kept raising my rates, even though I had no claims, no tickets, and was a gold status member for 3 years.

Debra - July 7, 2024
Verified

Great for the past ten years but no forgiveness for minor accident

Everything was great until I had a minor accident.

Elephant: Best for high-value custom parts

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User Reviews
3.0
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-ten scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
8.3/10
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$103/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$188/mo

Elephant auto insurance provides modified car owners with up to $20,000 in custom parts and equipment coverage. This could be a good option if you’ve installed numerous or expensive parts. Elephant also offers add-ons like at-home mechanic services and accident forgiveness coverage to further upgrade your car insurance policy.

Pros
  • Many available discounts and coverage options

  • Legal assistance coverage available

Cons
  • Available in only eight states

  • High NAIC complaint ratings

Read more driver reviews of Elephant
Tom - June 23, 2024
Verified

High Price

They increase the price without any warning. It went from $120 to $170 a month.

Robert - June 17, 2024
Verified

Very Good Company

My experience with Elephant has been good. It didn't start off that way because of issues with my card. They didn't inform me that my payment wasn't going through, which put me behind in payments. However, they stuck with me and we were able to straighten it out.

Kenneth - May 27, 2024
Verified

Good

The service was good, but the rates have been increasing too much.

Hagerty: Best for classic and collectible cars

To cover your classic or collectible modified vehicle, Hagerty builds an agreed-value policy based on the amount you and the appraiser agree that the car is worth. The agreed value is the basis of your coverage amount. The company also offers unique coverages, including up to $750 in spare-parts coverage and $10,000 in auto-show medical reimbursement.

Pros
  • Nationwide coverage

  • Potentially lower premiums than standard car insurance

Cons
  • Doesn’t offer insurance for regular-use vehicles

  • Storage and driver requirements apply

Modified-car insurance FAQs

To help you better understand how modified-car insurance works, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about this type of insurance.

  • What is considered a modified car?

    A modified car is a vehicle you’ve altered with aftermarket parts or parts not sourced from the original manufacturer. Modifications can improve your vehicle’s performance, safety, and appearance. But it’ll likely increase your insurance costs.

  • Do modified cars have more expensive insurance?

    It depends. Generally, having a modified car leads to higher repair costs, which may lead to higher rates. But some modifications actually decrease your insurance rates if they help improve your car’s safety.

  • Do you need to tell your insurance company about custom modifications?

    Yes. You need to inform your car insurance company about any custom modifications you make to your car, as your standard policy won’t cover those changes.

    If you file an insurance claim without modified-car insurance, you may have to pay out of pocket to repair or replace custom parts. Being up front with your insurer helps you not only get the supplemental coverage you need but can also protect your original policy.

  • Which car modifications can lead to insurance discounts?

    Many insurance companies offer discounts for car modifications that enhance your vehicle’s safety. For example, you may see savings for anti-theft systems, additional airbags, and advanced braking systems.

    That said, the availability and specifics of vehicle safety discounts often vary by insurer.

  • Does modifying a car void insurance?

    Not necessarily. But if you fail to disclose car modifications, your insurance company may not cover them if you get into an accident or your car is damaged or stolen. Without modified-car insurance coverage, you’ll likely have to pay out of pocket to repair or replace aftermarket parts.

Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute. "Insuring your classic car."
  2. Insurance Information Institute. "How to find the right auto insurance."
  3. Insurance Information Institute. "What is covered by a basic auto insurance policy?."
Alani Asis
Alani Asis

Alani Asis is a personal finance freelance writer with nearly three years of experience in content creation. She has landed bylines with leading publications and brands like Insider, Fortune, LendingTree, and more. Alani aims to make personal finance approachable through fun, relatable, and digestible content.

Sarah Archambault
Sarah Archambault
  • Experienced personal finance writer

  • Background working with banks and insurance companies

Sarah enjoys helping people find smarter ways to spend their money. She covers auto financing, banking, credit cards, credit health, insurance, and personal loans.

Featured in

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