Why vehicle customization raises auto insurance premiums

Published: December 23, 2015

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



After market customization of a vehicle is a common thing, especially among younger drivers who spec their vehicles with such things as spoilers, large alloy wheels, lowered suspension, and enhanced performance. The result is a car that is ugly or beautiful, depending your particular persuasion, but ultimately these added parts have an effect on your auto insurance premium.

The market for post manufacture customization is booming and has been for decades, but is it really worth the extra auto insurance cost? Aviva Canada, one of the leading auto insurance providers in the country says that these customizations come at a price. The company says everything from drastic changes like a turbo charged engine, to seemingly normal enhancement likes tinted windows can raise a premium and for that reason you should consult your insurer before installing them.

Insurance expert Wayne Ross from Aviva Canada, points out how vehicle modifications can increase risk and premiums as a result. He explains, “Certain modifications can put motorists at a greater risk of having a collision, such as a lowered or raised suspension, or increasing the size of your engine. Your vehicle could become untrustworthy on the road and impact your safety as well as your access to coverage.”

Some consumers may argue that the installation of some customization products (such as high performance breaks) actually improve car safety. Aviva Canada points out why even these additions can mean you pay more on your premium:

  • The modifications might increase the value of the vehicle, therefore increasing claims costs
  • Modified vehicles often are more attractive to thieves increasing the risk of theft
  • Vehicles with performance modifications generally mean that the performance of the vehicle is improved which can lead to more severe accidents

If you decide not disclose the changes you have made to a vehicle and are involved in an accident or need to make a claim, your insurance provider will probably not pay out on said claim and may cancel your policy.