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Old 08-16-2012, 09:14 AM   #1
mclovin
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Coilovers & insurance

Looking to purchase a set of Bilsteins PSS in the near future. Afte hearing stories of insurance companies denying claims & canceling policies during accidents while on coilovers, i've decided to give my insurance company a call to confirm this. Called and spoke to one of the CRSs which confirmed that they don't insure "mods". Kind of redundant if you ask me. With that theory in mind, they should deny claims involing cars with aftermarket brake pads/rotors, tires etc... I'm with Desjarden btw. End of rant.

What was your experience dealing with insurance company while being lowered on coilovers?
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:53 AM   #2
NOTORIOUS VR
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I don't see an issue with it unless you're planning on slamming the car on the ground and making it look stupid with low offset wheels and tire stretch.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:23 AM   #3
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they are mods... if you have any you are out of pocket at this point in the insurance game imo.

i wouldnt claim them at all. its really sad and stupid but its how it is. unless you want to pay through the nose cause you have an intake or coilovers.

i find it especially hilarious considering what you can get from the factory these days. omg bro intake on your car? you street racer with 1million hp.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:12 AM   #4
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they are mods... if you have any you are out of pocket at this point in the insurance game imo.
Exactly... buy them, install them and use them... but if you're thinking you can get extra money for them when you need to do a claim you would be foolish to do so.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:21 AM   #5
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My concern is having a clain denied in case of an accident or even having the policy canceled due to this "mod". I wasn't planning on slamming it to the ground, just a subtle 1"drop and refreshed suspension feel
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:32 AM   #6
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how would they know otherwise?

a good coilover is better than the factory mass produced best option/$ set up as far as performance goes.

Because you replaced the old/unsafe/tired factory set up with a better option...thats bad? if they somehow found out and denied a claim because of that = lawyer time
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:45 AM   #7
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The issue with mods is; if the insurance company does not know about them, it's not that the company won't pay to replace your mods, it is the fact that by you not disclosing them you have misrepresented information on the application, your contract with the company, as you stated or signed that your car was not modified or customized. The insurance company will use that fact as a reason to deny coverage. Not a huge deal if it just means you pay out of pocket to replace your own car when you roll it into a ditch, a life destroying/family ruining ordeal if you are being sued for $1.5 million after crashing into a minivan and injuring a family of 6.

If the car is not a daily driver and you meet certain criteria (age driving record etc..) then there are companies that will insure whatever you want: coilover/airbag suspension, engine swaps, turbos, superchargers almost anything aside from a pro-street car.

The big trouble comes when you want to commute in your modded car. The only guaranteed option is through the Facility association (the high risk guys). CONS: They will require an appraisal. They are not cheap - the policy will easily cost twice what you would pay for a stock car, if not more. PROS: there are no restrictions on use, mileage, ages, mods, or driving records.

If you are with a middle risk company (ie: Pafco, Jevco, Perth, Echelon, etc...) they will almost always decline a mod of any kind. The philosophy is that mods and claims/convictions = paying big claims. If you are in a middle market it is almost always because of a driving record issue.

Getting a modified car insured through a standard market (not high or mid risk) is tricky. I'll get two different answers from the same insurance company depending on who I speak with. If you have a good record, are over 25 yrs old, and have a few tasteful mods there is a chance that you may get a favourable response.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:00 PM   #8
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I think there is a definate grey area here...

You don't need to inform your insurance company every time you replace parts on your car. If you happen to be upgrading them with "OEM compatible" parts then I don't see how they can legally decline you for having these specific parts installed on your car.

Now where I can see they would be able to have a case against you is if you're running around with your car 2mm from the ground. But at that point you're not installing a part to make your car better you're just doing it to look cool (I'd say good but that is far too subjective) and for most purposes less safe.

Installing coilover suspension and setting the car at a decent height isn't going to raise any red flags IMO.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiR View Post
how would they know otherwise?
Whenever there is a potential to pay out big money, they investigate thoroughly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiR View Post
a good coilover is better than the factory mass produced best option/$ set up as far as performance goes.
I agree, but this has no bearing on the conditions you agree to when you take a policy with an insurance company. (these conditions are legislated in bylaws)

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if they somehow found out and denied a claim because of that = lawyer time
When dealing with insurance, and generally most things, it is a better bet to play by the rules then to hope a fancy high priced lawyer can get you out of trouble once you get caught.

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I think there is a definate grey area here...

You don't need to inform your insurance company every time you replace parts on your car. If you happen to be upgrading them with "OEM compatible" parts then I don't see how they can legally decline you for having these specific parts installed on your car.

Now where I can see they would be able to have a case against you is if you're running around with your car 2mm from the ground. But at that point you're not installing a part to make your car better you're just doing it to look cool (I'd say good but that is far too subjective) and for most purposes less safe.

Installing coilover suspension and setting the car at a decent height isn't going to raise any red flags IMO.
Whenever I submit a quote for a modified vehicle, I include pictures for this very reason. If the car looks reasonable the company will often agree to the policy without reservation.

I do agree it is not black and white. In circumstances like this my best advice is to let the broker/agent & company decide what shade of grey it is as they will be the ones paying the claim.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:28 PM   #10
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hockeyfan27 is correct in his post. The issue that may preclude coverage is that you are required under the statutory conditions of the policy to disclose information regarding modifications. It is up to the underwriter at the insurance company to decide if they want to insure the vehicle knowing the information. The key danger is that damages to your vehicle may not be covered if youwithhold the information, and in a worse case senario is to void you policy all together.

Some things like a decent set of blank rotors like Brembo, and a good pads won't raise a flag, but coilovers and blower will likely warrent further investigation.

It ultimately comes down to the insurer's claims philosphy on how they will treat the matter, but it is easier in this case to ask permission first than apologise after.

I would suggest if you are planning on any modification, to have the discussion with the insurer or broker, following which you have this confirmed by them in an email. Make sure the details are correct, and have the name of the person with the company information and the date all on the email and save that email. Print copies and save them. Should anything happen down the road, that person might not be there, and they may not have documented things well enough in their respective systems. That confirmation email may be the only thing between you and coverage.

Last edited by Lang75; 08-16-2012 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclovin View Post
My concern is having a clain denied in case of an accident or even having the policy canceled due to this "mod". I wasn't planning on slamming it to the ground, just a subtle 1"drop and refreshed suspension feel
I wouldnít worry too much about that. I had coilovers on my last car when I got t-boned. The car was written off and I got a full claim with no questions asked. Perhaps if you had a drastic power mod and the accident was somehow related to speeding, or if your car was lowered so much it contributed to the accident damage in some major way.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:19 PM   #12
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I wouldnít worry too much about that. I had coilovers on my last car when I got t-boned. The car was written off and I got a full claim with no questions asked. Perhaps if you had a drastic power mod and the accident was somehow related to speeding, or if your car was lowered so much it contributed to the accident damage in some major way.
You've seen it go your way once. I see it go the other way, frequently.

It's up to the OP as to who's advice he takes.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:27 PM   #13
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I do agree it is not black and white.
thats my point. Obviously insurance companies are scum(u mad) and will do almost anything to get out of a claim that they can but Ive personally never heard of someone being denied solely because of coilovers. You are in the business so you probably have heard of them screwing someone over because of it.
still doesnt make it right or make any sense.

if someone smashes into your car or it gets stolen etc...coilovers have no bearing on anything. its all game playing. playing by the rules went out the window long time ago with them.

its so silly. the stock rear on our cars isnt even a true coilover and all that differs up front is an adjustable perch (obviously the set ups are stiffer than stock) but its not like you are cutting and welding a new garage made double wishbone set up. its all highway robbery by the companies at the end of the day. :o


they are so unethical its ridiculous.

I mean I could see them giving you a hard time if you tried to claim them and they didnt know. but to flat out deny a claim because of it is wrong on so many levels. And considering what you can buy these days right off the dealer lot....makes it all that much more retarded.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:47 PM   #14
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thats my point. Obviously insurance companies are scum(u mad) and will do almost anything to get out of a claim that they can but Ive personally never heard of someone being denied solely because of coilovers. You are in the business so you probably have heard of them screwing someone over because of it.
still doesnt make it right or make any sense.

if someone smashes into your car or it gets stolen etc...coilovers have no bearing on anything. its all game playing. playing by the rules went out the window long time ago with them.

its so silly. the stock rear on our cars isnt even a true coilover and all that differs up front is an adjustable perch (obviously the set ups are stiffer than stock) but its not like you are cutting and welding a new garage made double wishbone set up. its all highway robbery by the companies at the end of the day. :o


they are so unethical its ridiculous.

I mean I could see them giving you a hard time if you tried to claim them and they didnt know. but to flat out deny a claim because of it is wrong on so many levels. And considering what you can buy these days right off the dealer lot....makes it all that much more retarded.
Agreed. Would be hard to find a stock turbo for my car when I could easily upgrade it to more easily assessable bigger turbo. Kinda wierd how they think different things from claim to claim.
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:20 PM   #15
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You've seen it go your way once. I see it go the other way, frequently.

It's up to the OP as to who's advice he takes.

I'm sure you have, and put the gun down, I wasnít disagreeing with your advice.

FYI there are many more cases that go the same way mine did, you just donít hear about them because you donít get those individuals raving about it on public forums like you would when someone runs into trouble. Even then only a few companies seem to have serious problems with denying claims for a few little unrelated mods. Thatís not to say it doesnít happen in all companies to some degree, just not as often as its made to seem in the online community.

At this point we all know that no insurance company likes modified cars, and if you have a bad record and do something really stupid on top of that, they will take advantage of every loop hole to save their own asses.

I'm no fan of insurance companies either, your advice was good, as long as the OP covers his own ass like you suggested, he will be fine. But I doubt he will even have to use that leverage when the time comes because for the most part they honor the claim.
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