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Insurance vs modifications

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Farab, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. This concerns modifications & insurance so thought I'd put this in "General"

    Some insurances seem to have a clause that says someting along the lines of any non OEM (approved) mods could result in your insurance being void.

    To what extent does this go? Obviously chaging a set of handle bars is not a big deal, but what about changing "legal" stuff like indicators, then moving along to more significant changes like for example USD forks - even assuming you use the same brand parts as the bike, e.g. Honda parts (second hand) on a Honda

    Anyone got any experience with this?

    I dont want to call my insurance company just yet. (I havn't done any mods yet, BTW)

    Will check in later (on lunch atm) Thanks!
  2. good question. It really comes down to the legal definition of "reasonable". An insurance company wouldn't be willing to take you to court on a "reasonable" modification because there is a good chance of that portion of the contract being made void by the judge.

    That doesn't mean they wouldn't "try it on" with a customer at claim time.

    I think if you haven't compromised the safety or operation of the vehicle and you're not trying to pull a swifty in the insurance company then they are unlikely to refuse payment.

    But note; unless you claim any mods, then the mods themselves will not be covered by the policy.
  3. I am thinking more in line with a general payout / replacement / repair. A good example will be to mod to USD forks, even using the same brand forks / spares as the bike.
    My concern is that they will say that USD forks are not original to that specific bike, therefore the insurance is void.
    Same sort of thing regarding "legal" or road worthy related mods (indicators, headlights, etc.) could it provide them with a loop hole to get out of paying the claim?
  4. Most insurance companies won't care too much what modifications you've made (within reason) as long as you tell them.

    I've changed heaps of stuff on my bike - handlebars, indicators, brake lines, carbies, exhaust, mudguards, air-box, paint, shockies etc. and never had a problem.

    What they're looking for is whether the modifications increase the performance of the bike substantially.

    So a twin-turbo and nitrous may cause you problems, a tail tidy won't.

    Non-standard forks shouldn't be a problem, as long as they are correctly engineered and you have all the relevant papers if required.

    The cancellation clause means they can opt not to pay (or reduce) any claim on the grounds you didn't tell them.

    If in doubt speak to them BEFORE you make any mods, that way you won't have to answer yes when they ask you if you've ever had cover declined or cancelled.

    Play it safe with them, they aren't always as bad as you might think.
  5. If the assessor is a bike specific assessor he won't roast you for the indicators. If he's not he won't notice.

    If you are worried about the USD front end then get an engineers certificate and notify the insurance company. Not cheap, but safe. It's handy if you get pulled over by the cops too.
  6. You could always take out a motorcycle insurance policy with NRMA. They have just changed their policy and policy wording. You no longer need to advise them of any modifications to the bike, they are automatically covered in your agreed/market value.
  7. Are those guys still really expensive?