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What Do Modifications Do to Your MX3ís Insurance?

No one likes visions of the ultimate MX3 mod being ruined by insurance considerations, but thatís the sad reality of things. We have to have insurance, and it's always a good idea to look at auto insurance reviews before committing to a certain policy. Thankfully, it is a myth that MX3 owners automatically take a hit in the premium department when they make aftermarket modifications. Certainly the potential to pay higher premiums is there for any performance car owner, but educating yourself on the connection between insurance and modifications will go a long way toward lowering your premiums while keeping your coverage comprehensive.

The Insurance Company Will Have Preconceptions

Understand this from the start. The insurance man is going to take one look at your sexy ride and have some ideas about it and you. Itís going to be your job to change preconceptions like:

  • ďLook at that Mazda MX3 with all those add-ons. This guy crashes and weíre going to pay out the nose.Ē
  • ďHe parks that thing in the wrong place for 10 seconds and itís headed for a chop shop.Ē
  • ďIíll bet he drives like a maniac in that thing.Ē

    Take a breath and prepare to do some educating. In order to get a fair break on your insurance, youíre going to need to illustrate exactly what has been changed on the car, how the car will be driven, and how it will maintained.

    Behaviors Can Offset Modifications

    Letís face it, some changes will be viewed more favorably than others. Start with those. If youíve installed an enhanced brake system that makes the car safer to drive, rave about that. Also highlight some of the things that insurance companies really like to hear:

  • Your MX3 is stored in a garage and protected from theft with tracking devices. (GPS enabled tracking is a particular favorite.)
  • This is not a vehicle used for commuting.
  • You belong to an MX3 club and have a real interest in maintaining and caring for your car for its intrinsic value.

    Be prepared for things the insurance man wonít like:

  • Be realistic. If you tell this guy your MX3 has a roll cage and a nitrous oxide injection system, get ready to sell the farm to pay the premium. If you have done anything extreme, highlight every other item on the car that offsets the perceived degree of attached risk.

    Be Honest and Donít Brag

    Assume that everything youíve done is something they wonít like and tell them everything. If you donít, they are within their rights to void your coverage. Think itís trivial to switch out the front seats? You wonít when the insurance man says youíve negatively altered your perception of the road and rips your policy in half.

    Above all, do not run your mouth about how hot and fast your MX3 is to drive. Tell the truth about performance numbers, but just state the facts. If you start talking like a speed maniac, thatís how youíll be seen and thatís the perceived risk youíll be paying for on your policy.

    Understand Insurance Fundamentals

    Going into the negotiation, there are two key terms to understand.

  • Agreed Value - Policies based on agreed value or ďlike for likeĒ cover the cost of building another car with identical specs to the covered car including all modifications. A policy written on this basis required in-depth supporting material to verify covered modifications.
  • Modifications Not Covered - Get in a wreck and theyíll pay -- for OEM replacements only.

    Ideally, you want a policy in the middle of those two positions. Donít take it personally. The insurance man is doing his job. You need to do yours. Prove that your car is well-maintained, well-housed, safe, and driven appropriately and youíll get the reasonable premiums you want.

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    Last modified: March 22 2009

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