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Are my custom car parts covered on my Auto Insurance Policy?

I heard a news story last night that got me thinking that the question of whether or not custom car parts are covered under your auto insurance policy.  On Friday, 2/17/2012, there were several cars that were broken into that had custom equipment stolen.  Several members of a custom car club went to dinner at the Arundel Mills mall.  When they returned to their cars after dinner, they noticed that several of the cars had been broken into and parts and sound equipment were stolen.  While watching the news report, a news reporter stated that the insurance companies would not pay for the stolen parts on some of the cars due to the car owners not having a custom parts endorsement on their auto insurance policy.

The reporter was correct.  If you add or alter items on your car (or customize), you need to add a custom parts or additional equipment endorsement to your policy to get coverage for these items. Examples of some items that would have to be added are as follows:

  • Non manufacturer installed stereo equipment (stereo, speakers, subwoofers, etc)
  • Non manufacturer installed televisions
  • Body kits
  • Rear spoilers
  • Custom paint job
  • Scissor doors
  • Custom wheels
  • HID lights
  • Custom exhaust
  • Window tinting

We see a lot of vehicles on the roads that have one or several of the above customization options.  What the owners may not know is that if they do not add an endorsement to their auto insurance policy, there will be no coverage for these custom items if they are stolen or damaged in an accident that is their fault.  If this happens, the company is only responsible to reimburse you for the amount to put like kind and quality standard parts for your vehicle.

There is a simple solution to fill this “gap” in coverage.  Simply call your auto insurance agent (hopefully Huff Insurance), ant let them know of the custom parts that need to be added to your policy.  What you will need is a list of the parts added with the value of each part.  The agent or company may also ask for a receipt documenting the value of the parts.

The time to realize that you do not have coverage for these parts is now, not after an incident like the one that occurred at the Arundel Mills Mall occurs and you find yourself out of thousands of dollars worth of custom equipment.

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