At first, your classic car might seem absolutely perfect. But after driving it a bit, you’ll undoubtedly notice things here and there that could use some attention. Maybe your exhaust rattles and leaks or your air conditioning doesn’t blow as cold as you might like. Or you might just want more power on tap and a shinier paint job. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to remember that some classic car modifications can affect both the value and insurance.

When you modify your vehicle, its overall value changes as does the risk of something happening. As that occurs, you may need to increase coverage levels and pay higher monthly insurance premiums as a result. To help you understand just what to expect as you plan your classic car upgrades, here’s a look at the most popular mods and their potential impact.

Major Upgrades

If you’re planning on making big sweeping changes to the look, feel, or function of your classic car, expect to officially move into the modified territory. Modified cars are insured a bit differently from stock classics, often needing more precise types of coverage. Here’s a couple upgrades that your insurance company might consider major mods.

Motor Swap

If you want more power, it’s often easiest to scoop out that tired stock motor and drop in a bigger powerplant. And if you’re willing to get custom motor mounts and axles, you’re only limited by what will fit in your engine bay. Then, you don’t even need to select from manufacturer specific engines for an OEM Plus build. LS swap in fourth gen Nova? No problem. Well, almost no problem.

While adding horsepower almost always translates into even more fun, it won’t necessarily increase your car’s value. What it will do is increase the risk of something going awry and drive up your insurance premiums as a result. While that might be well worth it to you, it’s important to realize the potential for changes.

Paint

Changing up the look of your classic car usually doesn’t impact your insurance — with one exception: the paint job. When you have your car resprayed from nose to tail, its risk of getting stolen increases, unfortunately. Its eye-catching colours could leave thieves hot on your tail, putting your insurer on high alert.

While you can fight back with anti-theft devices galore, insurance rates are likely to rise anyway. This is especially true if you replaced your tired paint with a much nicer finish, which may greatly increase the value of your classic car.

Overall, anytime you make big changes to the performance or looks of your ride, expect your insurance company to pay close attention.

Relatively Risk-Free Classic Car Mods

There are quite a few classic car upgrades you can complete that will easily fly under the radar, however, such as:

Engine Rebuild

An engine rebuild doesn’t boost the horsepower and torque into the stratosphere, so it’s not considered ground breaking, insurance wise. You can even install upgraded internals while replacing the worn parts and seals without causing a ruckus. While you will come out ahead in terms of power, the changes are not likely to leave you dealing with higher premiums.

Exhaust

While stock is always the safest route, good luck finding an OEM exhaust system for most classic cars. Instead, you have to go the aftermarket route to get rid of all the exhaust rattles, leaks, and other annoyances. As long as you don’t go too wild with the upgrade, it won’t affect your insurance. Just make sure that you keep it street legal with the right mufflers, catalytic converters, and such.

Seals

Water damage is incredibly costly since it can destroy all the interior parts, put your electronics on the fritz, and even contribute to the development of rust. The best way to prevent all these problems and stay dry on all your drives is by replacing worn or damaged seals.

To find the offending rubber, check around the:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Trunk lid
  • Sunroof

Don’t forget to clean out all the drains along the sunroof and doors, which help divert water away from your interior when kept clear of debris. You can usually blow them out with air to get all the dirt out. When doing these upgrade and maintenance tasks, you can expect your insurance company to be quite pleased with the results.

Safety

Insurance companies love when you increase the safety components on your classic, even if that means deviating a bit from its original build.

You can make the biggest impression by upgrading to:

• High-performance tires
• HID headlights
• LED taillights and turn signals
• Shoulder seatbelts
• Backup cameras

You also cannot go wrong with refreshing the brakes, steering, and suspension using OEM parts. As you make these changes, the risk potential decreases, resulting in no premium hikes for you.

To avoid getting your classic car modifications derailed, it’s best to talk with your insurance broker before and after making big changes. You will not only learn what to expect and how to adjust your plan, but also get additional coverage that helps you complete your classic car build. With vehicle under construction add-on coverage, for example, your upgrades automatically increase the insured value by 10% each quarter. So, if you’re planning on completing classic car upgrades anytime soon, call 1-844-929-4768 to speak to our team at Wayfarer Insurance Group today.

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