Custom parts and equipment coverage

You may not realize that the upgraded parts on your car might not be covered under your standard car insurance policy. Custom features such as aftermarket window tinting, custom paint jobs or a wheelchair lift may require additional coverage to your policy. If you’re thinking about adding custom parts and equipment, you should talk to an agent about adding additional coverage in the event that you’re in an accident. And you may be surprised to learn that some modified equipment, such as extra safety features, could result in discounts to your policy.

What is custom parts and equipment coverage (CPE)?

CPE refers to additions or enhancements that are either permanently installed or attached and alter the performance or appearance of the vehicle. This doesn’t include anything that is installed by the original auto manufacturer.

Does my insurance cover modifications to my car?

Yes, Elephant will automatically cover up to $1,000 of CPE on your vehicle. Beyond that, you will need to purchase custom parts and equipment coverage. You can’t buy CPE alone, so you’ll need to purchase comprehensive and collision on your policy first. Coverage limits vary by state, so be sure to ask an Agent what is covered on your policy.

Common custom modifications

Some common custom modifications include:

  • Custom paint job
  • Custom tires or rims
  • Electronic equipment such as custom stereo, tv or video system
  • Anti-roll bars
  • Added chrome

Modifications that my standard policy won’t cover

Some modifications that are not included are:

  • Snow plowing equipment
  • Equipment with altered suspensions that are homemade or kits that are greater than 4 inches
  • More than $20,000 in custom parts
  • Illegal modifications like nitrous oxide, underbody lighting and dark tinting

Please contact an Elephant agent for a comprehensive list. Note that limits and specifications may differ from state to state (for example, Virginia won’t cover more than $5,000 in custom parts).

Do modifications affect my car insurance?

It really depends on the modifications made to your car. If you modify your car with certain parts, you may be considered “high risk” and you could risk being cancelled.  However, there are some modifications that could lower your rates and qualify for the safe-car discount. Rearview cameras, anti-theft systems, and daytime running lamps all qualify for additional discount on your policy.

Be sure to read through your existing policy to understand coverage exclusions and exceptions. Also, be sure to keep any receipts and take photos of the improvements you make. Whether you’re a car enthusiast or you just want to replace your rims, talk to your agent to see what is covered.

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