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Mods and Insurance

323 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Austin2297
Renewal time, does anybody on here work in the insurance world and can define a "mod"
I regard my car as basically standard but with lots of "mods" such as not the original wheels (but std on other TF's), coloured interior lighting, brake servo stiffener, DAB radio etc and the list goes on and on. I'm pretty sure the broker/insurance co will not even bother to read it unless a claim is forthcoming. But then fan and sh*t come into play and how would I stand legally?

I'm reaching the point where the list is so long that if I put everything on it (and remember them all) I fear that the sheer length may make them think it's substantially modified, I forgot the bloody non std wheel nuts last year so have I been driving uninsured. I've just fitted front fogs (on the list) and the next 3 mods are electronic boot release, low water warning and under boot/bonnet lighting should these go on the list in case I get them fitted.

None of what I've done increases performance so do I have to mention what I regard as aesthetic, convenience or safety improvements?
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I'm no insurance expert but since none of that stuff has in any way altered the performance, I doubt they would have an insurance impact. If any company tried to invalidate your insurance during a claim citing something like a change of interior light colour, I'd get straight on to the ombudsman. Certainly, no company would take notice of any of the things you've listed as regards the value of any pay out. I have modified and declared in the past with my MG Maestro 2.0 which had a 16v head fitted along with upgraded brakes - that had a small impact on my premium and it was something I had to remind them about when they wrote it of with a frankly insulting offer. Never did get what it was probably worth but got double what they initially offered.
I’m with SpottyCat on this, in terms of what you list.
Are you looking to renew the insurance on an agreed value ( Classic car ) basis?
If not, there is a high potential for the car to be written off if it sustains even minor damage, and you are likely to be paid out ’market value’ which will probably be three quarters of very little - without a high degree of debate.
If you don't tell the insurer what you've added, for example Oxford leather seats put into a MG which the original spec only had cloth or even as mentioned a DAB radio, they would only pay out on the standard spec if stolen/fire, whereas if told of the items and value they would have factored into their premium the extras and would refund you for the extras as well.

Where it becomes tricky is when buying an old vehicle with items already in place, would you think about mentioning x-power roll hoops, or hairpin alloys or would you think they were standard? also similar if you've purchased one with a re-mapped ecu and sports exhaust, unless you know your cars you may never know what has been modified or what was standard.....obvious a nitro bottle in the footwell may make even the most naive owner think "maybe that's not standard"
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At the cheapjack end of the market, it always has been the case that most underwriters will require prior notification of all modifications away from standard spec - obviously, because they are cheap, these types of insurance companies will always be looking for reasons to decline or reduce the sum paid out for claims, or for making a surcharge over and above the basic premium.

It certainly used to be the case that many of the 'better' insurance companies would only insist on being told about performance enhancing modifications, or modifications involving structural alterations to the vehicle, but in recent years most of them have tightened up considerably, and I think you will find that nowadays almost all insurance companies will stipulate that they need prior knowledge of all existing or proposed modifications regardless of whether they are mechanical/performance altering or merely cosmetic.

It is safest to declare everything up front, rather than get caught out in the event of a claim. However, it is open to question as to whether the insurance engineer/assessor would either spot or know whether a vehicle has the wrong design/size of wheels or whether other original manufacturer supplied options were fitted as standard spec, or whether they have been substituted at a later date.

If you want a clearer idea of what needs to be declared, you would probably be better posting the query in the 'Car Insurance questions' subsection of the Ask the Gurus area of the forum - someone from Chris Knott Insurance does post in there regularly (although only about once a month) and may see it and be able to give you a definitive answer.
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When I did my renewal last year I declared up rated brakes they said that as far as they were concerned it was not a modification that they would ask extra for, however if I had uprated the engine performance that would be a different story. Think in some ways, just ask your company what they consider mods, and they should be able to give you some indications. I wouldn't think better radio interior lights or servo stiffener would really be on their list of mods to worry about, but who knows these days?
#2 I agree with you but I'm just trying to bottom it, no doubt if I ask the broker he will just say put it all down and then not bother even reading it.

#3 I have agreed value currently, the MGOC gave a valuation of £4700 last year which the insurer accepted, I paid quite a bit for it and thought at the time I might have overpaid but it appears not. These cars range from £400 for a skip to £7/8K and I've seen dealers ask £10+ for ultra low miles cars so it's difficult. Mine although a very early car (build Jan 02) is in very good nick with only 28K on the clock and to me it's priceless.
I got bit a few years back when I bought an immaculate old Renault for £500 with FSH and 50K on the clock, it got rear ended parked outside my house and totalled the insurer offered £200. Two months later after threats of small claims court they offered £400 and I took it, but for 2 months they paid for my hire car they could have offered £800 in the 1st instance and been in pocket, go figure. Ever since if I get something old and good I will go for agreed value every time.

#4 How apt I fitted an oxford leather interior (on the list), my previous experiences of soft tops says you will always get caught out once by a shower and sitting on a cloth covered sponge could be fatal at my age.

#5 Brilliant mate I will post on there

#6 Uprated brakes, so you intend driving fast do you? (my insurance head on)

So I think clipboard out and go over every inch detailing changes then save the document somewhere obvious on the PC as the previous ones gone MIA
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Thought you meant the lads riding lambrettas from the title. Premiums may be higher for those who have roundels painted on the back of their parkas as they are a clear target.
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I had a Lambretta when I was 16, then again I also had hair, muscles, teeth and working brain cells.

Just renewed, they complained about how much info I sent, my response was do what you like with it but I have a saved email of it just in case.

Then I did the insurance on the daily plus the £200 car tax on it, just wondering what I can afford for dinner now 😤
I had a Lambretta when I was 16, then again I also had hair, muscles, teeth and working brain cells.

Just renewed, they complained about how much info I sent, my response was do what you like with it but I have a saved email of it just in case.

Then I did the insurance on the daily plus the £200 car tax on it, just wondering what I can afford for dinner now 😤
Toast with beef dripping on it is very tasty.
I have found that depending on who your insurance company is can affect how they view, what you may or may not call a mod. When I declared that I had uprated the front brakes the young guy on the other end said that it was a sensible improvement, and it didn't have any impact on the premium, in fact he did try to see if it would lower it. I know you can view things from a half full or half empty position but if you are looking at price only it seems mods etc can be somehow so much more important than otherwise.
Trev have you got a video phone? if not perhaps you misgendered some "young guy" which we all know is now a capital offence.
The "person" I spoke to yesterday showed a complete lack of knowledge about cars and the gaps between me speaking and them responding gave me the impression they were on the moon, either that or they needed a lot of thinking time. The broker is one of the big 2 in the MG world that everyone seems to say are good, not impressed at all and will probably look elsewhere next year. It's not all about the money I would gladly pay a bit more for a broker who is competent and shows knowledge in the hope that if it goes T up they will be able to assist me.
I recently insured my MGB GT and first of all called Adrian Flux and I would never call them again, everything was "super", my name was "super", everything about the car was "super" and like deepfat's experience he didn't have a clue. I declined the quote and then I had calls, texts and answer phone messages for days afterwards. The answer phone messages amuse me because my recorded message to callers says "Do not leave a message because I do not listen to them"
I then called Footman James and a youngish girl answered the phone, I initially thought "here we go again" but she was very efficient and helpful and I purchased the insurance from her, even though she didn't think my name was "super"
deepfat sadly didn't have a video phone, I said young because he said in the conversation he was 28 and anything under 50 seems young these days to me. But like MGB281 said, I initially thought he was some going to be a sales person looking to hit their sales target and not care about the service. But surprisingly he did take notice of what I said and even suggested options on the cover which I hadn't of thought of and even reduced the premium. From one who used to cuss all insurance brokers, I have to say it was a very refreshing change. Mind you, next year might be a different story.
I was with Footman James for many years during my ‘I had hair then’ period, and had thought about seeking a quote from them this week due to my premium with Peter James Insurance increasing.
I then had a look at FJ’s reviews, and decided I wouldn’t bother, and paid the Peter James premium. I know bad reviews travel further than good ones, and I’m sure there will be many forum members who rate them highly.
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