Insurance prices are down – just don’t modify your car

Car insurance news roundup: week ended 19 sept 2012:

Motor car insurance news was a bit of a mixed bag this week, as reports of dropping car insurance rates were muddied by news that fitting safety mods to your car can cost more.

First the good news: a major car insurance comparison site recently announced that, according to its data, there was a 2.9 per cent decline in insurance premiums this month. Not only that, but year-on-year prices have dropped by 4 per cent on average, though drivers between the ages of 35 and 55 saw even greater drops of anywhere from 9 per cent to 18 per cent, leading to prices at their lowest point since 2010.

However, not everyone has been winning big this year. Cheap car insurance for women has become a thing of the past, as car insurance companies ramp up for the new European Court of Justice ruling banning gender-based rate differences that goes into effect in December.

Unfortunately, another news story broke this week that serves as a warning to anyone looking to make their cars safer: these drivers can get into hot water with their insurers if they fit modifications to their vehicles, even if these mods were fitted with an eye to increased driver safety, such as tow bars and parking sensors.

Another major comparison site conducted research into the phenomenon, discovering that while many common cosmetic modifications, such as tinted windows or alloy wheels, can run up insurance prices, the more common safety-minded accessories can do so as well. Not only that but neglecting to inform your insurer of any modifications can sometimes be grounds for car insurance companies to invalidate your cover completely, which means that you run the risk of driving about without proper cover – all because you tried to make your car safer than it was when it came from the factory floor.

If you’re considering whether or not to modify your vehicle in order to make it safer, before you do anything you need to ring up your insurer and find out what their policy is on modifications. You don’t want to spend the money on new parts and the time getting them fitted, only to find out that you’re actually increasing  your premium price or even worse risking invalidation, simply because your existing insurer can’t tell the difference between a ‘boy racer’ and a safety-conscious driver, do you?


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