Would your modifications make your car more liable to theft?
Some drivers are finding that they have invalidated their insurance cover without realising it.
As credit gets tighter, you may choose to make changes to upgrade your old car instead of buying a new one.
But if you make significant improvements, insurers will expect to be told so your premium can be adjusted accordingly.
If you fail to do so, in extreme cases you may be left without any cover at all.
Have you had an insurance claim refused due to modifications to your car?
Do you think insurers are too strict about added extras?
Or maybe you think it is the customers duty to inform the insurer of any changes and anyone who does not should expect to be penalised.
Why not share your thoughts?
We asked for your comments, a selection of which are below. The debate is now closed.
MOST RECENT COMMENTS:
I find it a harsh penalty to drivers who make there car that little bit different to standard cars. For instance when declaring alloy wheels, when speaking to the insurance company it's as if they are saying: "yes of course alloy wheels are going to put your life and other road users in danger". Actually the wheel size and width give the car more grip on the road, surely?
Dan Woodward, Broadstairs
I had reversing sensors fitted and when I informed my insurance company and was chatting to the operator I found that the factory fitted options (Fords sports pack 1 on a C-Max) also needed to be declared. I wonder how many other people who have factory fitted options are aware that they need to declare them as the vehicle is not "standard build".
Chris Pickard, Hull
I think insurance companies avoid paying whenever they can - the main thing your correspondent throws up, which I will take up with my MP, is it seems that legal whiz-kids in insurance companies regard the rest of us as prey to extract money from - rather like the financial disaster. It seems you need a PhD in Small Print to understand their conditions. One insurance company insists on charging me a £25 fee for cancellation of their car insurance policybefore it had even started. I feel cheated by their small print which I didn't see amongst the forest of .PDF files.
David Walter, Yarkhill, Hereford
I couldn't insure my car/van because I had increased its protection from theft/vandalism by sleeping in it at night during a few weeks touring! Also insurers ask the stupid question, "What is the value of the vehicle?" As we are not professional valuers how do we know? The price paid is not a guide - and if we are given the vehicle? They can look in the Glass Guide can't they?
D. Anthony, Hastings
My car has been written off, and because it's an MG the insurer thinks it can get away with offering a ridiculously low settlement figure as they are no longer manufactured. When calculating a more reasonable figure that I wanted to settle the claim, I worked out that it had nearly £3,000 worth of factory fitted extras, to which they snottily asked why I hadn't declared them. I don't see how I could have known, itemised and been expected to do that at the time of purchase from the used-car dealer. Extras fitted after it left the factory maybe. At the moment I am going through their complaints department, as the accident happened in mid December, and I haven't received a penny so far, or been offered a hire car. At the moment I won't mention their name, but will not be fobbed-off by them either.
P J Wensor, Peterborough
Insurance companies have some wonderfully variable standards. Here they talk about invalidating insurance if there's been a sat-nav or something installed and yet my (ex) insurance company automatically renewed a policy and insisted, on pain of legal action, that I pay up two month's premiums for a car I hadn't possessed since the previous policy expired! Colour in the legality, morality and common sense customer-care of that for me if you can. How much bigger a modification can one make to a vehicle than to actually not own it at all - and yet they still demanded their insurance premium! I call that fraud. That's what they'd have called it had I actively tried to insure a car I didn't own. Moral of the story? When you ring up their (overseas) call-centre to cancel a policy be very, very, careful to obtain and note the call reference number, record the call and have the Archbishop of Somewhere witness your call...
Ian Hutson, Alford
It's about time insurance companies made clear what they are insuring and what they are no. For example, if you buy a new car without modifications you seem to be ok, but if it's been modified before you bought it second hand and at the time of getting it insured you state clearly that you are not aware of any modifications, then you should not have to worry if you make a claim later - it should be up to the insurance companies to either accept the car as is or not insure the vehicle in the first place. Most people buying a car would not know if it has been modified or not. You could replace a faulty part and have that called a modification if it was not replaced with exactly the same part.
Stephen Henney, Great Yarmouth
I have recently raised my concerns with my local MP, Mark Field, regarding in-car DVD systems visible to the driver. These systems, although supposedly only available when a vehicle is stationary have installations which can be easily overridden. Using a DVD system in the front of a car is a danger to the public and insurance companies obviously realise this. There are enough gadgets to distract drivers without adding this one.
Bryan Haywood, London
The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.