Car Upgrades That Can Affect Your Insurance


Modifications to your car consist of any changes made after production that are installed to boost performance, change its appearance, or make it safer. However, it’s essential to know that modifications to your vehicle can also affect your auto insurance, so be sure to reach out to your Westwood agent if you do significant upgrades to your car to see if your policy is affected.

Cosmetic upgrades

Be sure to tell your agent if you make any significant cosmetic changes to your vehicle. Some car owners like to add custom or alloy rims that can cost an average of $1,000 for a complete set. Other cosmetic enhancements that are important to mention are tinted windows and custom paint jobs that may affect your car’s value. It’s also important to be sure that if you tint your windows, you don’t tint them too darkly, as this can present an additional safety hazard.

Body upgrades

Some car owners add spoilers to give their vehicles a sporty look and potentially improve overall performance. Be sure to disclose the installation of a spoiler to the trunk, window, or roof to your insurance agent. A lowered suspension can give a car a sleeker profile, and if you’re looking to make this modification to your vehicle, be sure to trust only an experienced mechanic. It’s also important to let your agent know about this change as it can affect the handling and damage caused by road hazards like potholes and debris.

Engine upgrades

While a car manufacturer will fit reliable parts and technology into their vehicles, some car owners prefer to replace some of these parts with the highest quality options or even pay a mechanic to remap the engine to boost performance with an engine control unit (ECU). With an ECU, everything from wheel speed and braking power to ignition times and fuel to air ratios can be fine-tuned, improving an engine’s running and even fuel efficiency. Changing the specifications of a car’s performance can affect your insurance policy, so be sure to check with your agent about any modifications like this.

Safety upgrades

Brake system upgrades may qualify you for a discount on your premiums. Other safety and security installations, such as trackers, immobilizers, or parking sensors, may also mean a reduction in premium costs, depending upon your carrier. Tow bars sometimes qualify car owners for a lower premium as well. Be sure to check with your agent to see if your carrier has any specific safety initiatives that may apply to you.

Reach out to Westwood if you have questions

Ultimately, significant upgrades and modifications may increase the value of your car, but that means it’s important to share these with your agent to be sure your vehicle is fully covered. Contact Westwood today to evaluate your coverage and find the right options for you.