- The UAE is known for its incredible love of high-performing and good-looking cars.
- But insurance companies are becoming stricter when it comes to handing out policies that cover newly or previously modified vehicles.
- This means that changing your truck with approved dealers and keeping your insurance company informed is of utmost importance if you’re looking to cover your car.
The UAE is the home of modified cars. And every car lover knows the feeling of adding to their car; from being aesthetically enhanced with a paint job, new wheels or a body kit, to changing the overall performance with a turbo, it’s a feeling like no other.
However, as lovely as it is to change things up, insurance companies might think otherwise. This article investigates the minds of insurers when choosing how to cover your modified car.
What factors can increase your premium?
When it comes to modified cars, insurance companies often consider them as higher risk cars – a simple paint job may not portray substantial safety risks, but actual changes to the interior and internal works means that the car is no longer in the initially approved standard, as it would’ve been from the dealer. Things like adding a turbocharged engine mean having to make changes to the brakes, engine, suspension and more. While this may enhance the car, insurance companies consider this a far more significant risk, and more cost to them in the event of an accident, therefore increasing the value of a premium.
This is not to say that a simple paint job won’t affect the price either – cars with alloy wheels, custom paint jobs, and exclusive body kits are considered to be more an appeal to thieves, but also expensive to repair, and could also impact the price of your insurance.
So how do insurers cover?
Insurance policies are often designed to the insurer’s discretion. They aim to cover the driver and their lifestyle, and not give a ‘one-size-fits-all’ type of service. With that being said, when it comes to insuring modified cars, some insurance companies may choose to cover minor modifications, increase a premium to a substantially higher figure, or deny insuring the vehicle altogether.
Insurance companies are more likely to provide coverage when modifications are done through the dealership and/or reputable and approved workshops. This means that any adjustment, big or small, will have to be backed up with a receipt when requesting a quote. Companies look to insure and cover cars they know absolutely everything about. Whether you make modifications before or during your policy, it’s advisable to let your insurer know everything, so that no nasty surprises may arise.
If you’re insuring a car that’s already modified, obtaining a ‘Modifications Certificate’ will work in your favor.
What is a Modifications Certificate?
All modified cars in the UAE are now required, by law, to have a Modifications Certificate. This indicates that a vehicle with changes is considered road-worthy and meets the safety standards of the UAE, after modifications.
Obtaining a Modifications Certificate is a separate process to renewing your car registration; A specific center (location at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi) runs a test to determine the overall road-worthiness of the car, approved by the Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology (ESMA).
Once the test is carried out, the center will send the results to ESMA, who will then issue (or not) the Modifications Certificate.
Ready? Set, Roll!
From paint jobs to turbocharged engines, make sure your paperwork is in order and is from the right places before requesting a quote from your insurance company. Whether you’re buying a modified car or modifying it yourself, it’s in your best interest to get a Modifications Certificate first.