Even if you’re not in the racing and performance world, you might still need or want aftermarket parts for your vehicle.
An aftermarket part is made by a company that’s not the original manufacturer of your vehicle. They are meant as replacements or new pieces of equipment.
Whether you need or want new parts, aftermarket parts tend to be cheaper than what you’ll get from the manufacturer, and you’ll have a bigger selection. You might also find that many aftermarket parts are on-par with or even better than the quality of the original parts.
However, there are cons, including the fact that aftermarket parts rarely come with a warranty.
You might also question how insurance works with aftermarket parts, and the following are things to know.
Do You Need Special Insurance If You Modify Your Car?
If you modify your car or add to it, you may need special coverage from your insurance company.
A modification or customization is anything that wasn’t made at the factory, and these things, including aftermarket parts, typically aren’t included in standard auto insurance policies.
A car may be deemed customized or modified by an insurance company if the body, frame or chassis are modified, if the performance is significantly changed or if there’s a custom paint job in excess of several thousand dollars.
Outside of rims and tires, which may not even be included either, your insurance coverage probably won’t cover any of your enhancements.
Vehicle value is usually based on factory-installed vehicle parts.
Common customizations that might require you to explore separate or supplemental insurance can include, but aren’t limited to:
- Custom paint jobs or graphics
- Electronic equipment
- Custom wheels, tires or spinners
- Custom spoilers or grilles
- Things to enhance speed such as turbochargers
- Anti-roll bars
- Additional chrome
- Accent lights
If you have a liability-only policy which is the cheapest and covers the least, you don’t have any coverage on your vehicle at all. In order to have your car repaired or replaced if you’re in an accident, you need collision and comprehensive insurance.
If you want to cover certain aftermarket parts, you may need to go beyond even that.
There are two general options that may be available to you if you have a customized vehicle.
The first is called supplemental coverage.
Supplemental coverage will cover customized parts and equipment, and the premium may end up being around 10% of the value of your modifications, depending on the company.
If you have car insurance through a company that doesn’t offer supplemental coverage, there’s also classic or collectible car insurance.
You may find that your company offers something called a Custom Parts and Equipment Policy. If you have comprehensive or collision insurance, it may be required in your state that coverage is provided for custom parts. These are permanent parts of a vehicle that improve the performance and the appearance and that weren’t installed by the manufacturer.
However, you’ll probably quickly realize the coverage, which usually ranges from $500 to $1,000 isn’t going to go far in covering your upgrades.
If that’s a concern for you, you should speak with your insurance agent.
Ask the following questions:
- What’s the percentage of the value of any aftermarket parts that will be covered?
- Will aftermarket parts be covered at full replacement value, the cost paid or cost minus depreciation?
- Is there a dollar amount limitation on the amount of parts covered under the policy?
- What’s the policy of the insurance carrier as far as using aftermarket parts for repair jobs?
Typically an insurance company won’t be inherently against you using aftermarket parts, and they won’t see it as a reason to raise your premiums (except in certain situations). However, you might want to look into additional coverage if you’ve made quite a few modifications.
Whenever you make a significant change to your vehicle, you should contact your insurance company and ask them if you need to do anything to keep yourself financially protected.
You should also realize that insurance rules and guidelines differ in every state.
Go through your current policy thoroughly to understand what’s covered and what’s excluded, and if you find anything that’s confusing or that you don’t understand, ask your insurance agent to explain it to you in writing.