Car Modifications and your Insurance – What’s Covered

Written By Charlotte Insurance on July 19, 2017. It has 0 comments.

Are you the type of person who doesn’t want anything generic? Everything has to be personalized and express who you are. Okay, maybe not everything, but the big things. Your home, your wardrobe, and oh yes, you car, too. You’ve spent a lot of money taking care of your car and modifying it until you’re happy with it.

The summer is a great time to update, tweak, and change things. It’s a new season and time for something different. Before you get too carried away with the next mod, have you checked to see how it could impact your auto insurance?


Some modifications, like tinted windows, may not require special or extra auto insurance. But others, like a custom paint job or a structural change to the chassis probably will. When you modify your vehicle, your insurance company wants to know about it. They consider any modification a change the alters or enhances your vehicle for appearance or performance. What you do to your vehicle can impact your insurance coverage.

What are the modifications that most affect your auto insurance?

  • Stereo equipment
  • Fog lights
  • Spoilers – front and rear
  • Vertical doors
  • Hood ornaments
  • Chrome bumpers
  • Chrome wheels and racing tires
  • Accent lights


Depending the changes you make, it’s not just the type of coverage that changes but also the value of your insurance coverage. Avoid actual cash value for any insurance coverage, if you can, because you’ll never receive enough to replace your property.

Most people opt for replacement value for their insurance policies but you may also want to talk to your agent about “agreed value” – this is a number you and the insurance company agree to and put in writing before the policy is written. It may help cover certain modifications that would be hard to place a “replacement” value on.


Every insurance company is a little different because they each set their own standards. It’s important to talk to your insurance provider before you make modifications, if possible, to make sure you’re covered. At a minimum, the changes you make must be in accordance with state law to be considered for insurance coverage.

In North Carolina, your modifications must meet certain requirements:

  • Muffler cutouts aren’t allowed at all.
  • Vehicles can be up to 13 feet 6 inches in height.
  • No red and blue flashing or stationary lights are allowed. Those are only for emergency vehicles.
  • You can add two additional lights to your vehicle such as spotlights or auxiliary lamps.
  • Non-reflective tint is allowed on the windshield above the AS-1 line.
  • Tinted windows must allow more than 35 percent of light through.
  • Side mirrors are required if the back window is tinted.
  • Reflective tint can’t reflect more than 20 percent.
  • Red tint isn’t allowed at all.

Depending on the modifications made, you may want to consider additional equipment coverage or collector car coverage. When you talk to your insurance agent, have a complete list of all the modifications made so you get the most accurate information possible.

Here at Charlotte Insurance we’re happy to help you insure any vehicle you drive, whether a brand new vehicle, one modified to look completely unique, or an antique vehicle. Give us a call today and let’s talk about your vehicle.

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