Car insurance is all about risk, and modifications can sometimes increase the risk of an accident or theft.
Some car modifications are riskier than others, and your insurance company will likely have different opinions on what is and isn't risky. Here are three car modifications that you should definitely inform them about:
Upgrading Your Engine Control Unit (ECU)
As anyone who has done it knows, upgrading your engine control unit (ECU) can be a great way to improve performance and fuel efficiency.
However, it's important to remember that this upgrade may affect your insurance coverage. That's because the ECU controls many of the engine's critical functions, and an upgraded ECU may lead to increased speeds and more power. This can also make your car more difficult to control, which increases the risk of an accident.
As a result, your insurance company may deem your car to be a higher risk and charge you more for coverage. Also, if you don't inform them of this new upgrade and have an accident, your policy may not cover the damage.
So before you make any changes to your ECU, check with your insurer to see how it will affect your policy. By doing so, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road.
Changing the Car's Appearance
Giving your car a new paint job or adding some aftermarket parts can be a great way to personalize it and make it stand out from the crowd. For example, adding a body kit or a new set of rims can really change the look of your car.
However, these changes can also increase the risk of theft. That's because thieves often target cars that are easy to spot and have unique features that can be sold for a profit. And if the new parts of your car are stolen, you'll be stuck paying for the replacements out of pocket.
So if you make any changes to your car's appearance, let your insurance company know. That way, they can adjust your policy accordingly and give you the coverage you need in case your vehicle is stolen.
Adding a Cold Air Intake System
A cold air intake system is a great way to improve your car's performance. It does this by allowing the engine to breathe easier, which can lead to more power and better fuel economy.
However, installing a cold air intake system can void your car's warranty, not to mention the effect on your insurance policy. The increased airflow can stress the engine and other parts of the car. Most cars are designed to work with a certain amount of airflow, and adding a cold air intake system can change that balance.
As a result, your car may be at a higher risk of breaking down from engine failure—and if something goes wrong when you haven't informed your insurer, you'll be responsible for the repairs.
So before you install a cold air intake system, check with your car manufacturer to see if it will void your warranty. And if it does, let your auto insurance company know so they can adjust your policy accordingly.