Does Adjusting Your Car Height Void Insurance?

Raising or lowering your vehicle without telling your provider could result in policy cancellation—at the very least, you should expect your rates to increase.
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Amy Bobinger
If you choose to raise or lower your vehicle’s suspension, you won’t void your
car insurance
policy, but you might see your rates increase.
  • Adjusting the height of your car typically won’t void your insurance.
  • However, raising or lowering your suspension will likely increase the cost of your comprehensive and collision coverage.
  • Vehicle modifications can change the value of your vehicle and may represent an increased risk, which can affect your insurance rates.

Does adjusting your car height void your car insurance policy?

While minor car modifications may not void your insurance policy, raising or lowering your car considerably could exclude it from a standard policy. To be on the safe side, it’s best to check with your insurer before making any modifications to your vehicle’s height.
You might be thinking you can avoid rate increases simply by not telling your car insurance company you adjusted your car’s height, but this would be a bad idea.
When a policyholder modifies their vehicle without telling their provider, it’s known in the insurance industry as “material misrepresentation.” That’s legal jargon for “Wait, we never said we’d insure that!”
When you enter into a contract with your provider, they agree to cover the car you present them with. If you make changes to that car, it’s your responsibility to inform your provider. That way they can adjust your terms so both you and they know what you’re actually covered for.
In most cases, material misrepresentation will result in a denied claim and increased rates—but it could also result in policy cancellation. To be on the safe side, check with your insurance agent before you start any work on your vehicle to ensure both it and your mods will be covered.
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Will raising or lowering your car affect insurance rates?

Yes, it’s likely. Raising or lowering your vehicle’s suspension will almost certainly increase your comprehensive and collision car insurance costs for several reasons.

Changes to the car’s value

Modifications cost money, which means they may increase your car’s value—and this, in turn, can impact your insurance. More importantly, they represent an increase in the cost of
car repairs
if your car is damaged. Even the simple act of towing your vehicle will often cost more—especially if you’ve lowered your suspension.

Added risk when driving

Modifications also represent an increased risk. You might raise a truck or SUV so you can tackle harder trails, or you might lower a sports car to take faster corners. Both of these represent risky driving behaviors that could lead to vehicle damage, car accidents, and car insurance claims.
Even if you’re not engaging in risky driving behaviors, your raised or lowered vehicle still poses a risk just in the driving of it. Most infrastructure isn’t built with modified motor vehicles in mind. This means you’re more likely to bottom out on speed bumps or steep grades with a lowered suspension, which could lead to costly repairs.
There’s also the stability factor to consider when making changes to your car’s suspension system. Raised vehicles are more likely to be involved in rollover crashes because of their raised center of gravity.
Your insurer must also take into account how modifications can affect your vehicle’s safety features. Raising or lowering your suspension can affect the way your car’s airbags deploy, or cause malfunctions with other safety features, like forward and rear parking sensors.
Raising a vehicle can also represent an increased risk to drivers around you, as taller trucks and SUVs tend to do more damage to other vehicles in an accident. This is one way your mod may even affect your
liability coverage

Higher chance of theft

These modifications will also represent an increased risk of theft. We already mentioned that some people raise or lower their vehicles because it looks good. A good looking car is going to draw attention—but it won’t always be the type of attention you’re looking for. Modified cars usually feature expensive parts—parts that can be stolen and sold for cash. Your provider will increase your premiums to guard against the future financial hit they may take if your vehicle, or parts of it, become the target of theft.

Do you need to notify your insurance company about vehicle modifications?

Yes. Ideally, you should notify your provider before you perform any modifications on your vehicle. This way, they can suggest the right
types of insurance
to cover the new parts.
While most providers will cover modifications for accessibility or safety through your standard comprehensive or collision policy, most have exclusions written into their policies for things like aftermarket parts, performance-enhancing mods, and visual mods. Others provide separate policies, such as
sound system coverage
for some modifications, although they may still exclude others. In any case, you should always check with your provider before you make any changes to your vehicle, as it could change the terms of your insurance agreement.
But there’s also another benefit of checking with your current provider before modifying your vehicle—it allows you to have a baseline to use to compare with other providers. That’s right, you can use this opportunity to shop for a new auto insurance policy and possibly save money. Be sure to compare
car insurance quotes
from at least three to five providers before settling on the policy that will offer you, and your newly raised or lowered car, the best coverage at the best price!
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As with any car modification, exhaust modification can result in policy cancellation if you do it without telling your provider. Any modification can, and likely will, affect that amount your insurance provider will have to pay out in the event of a comprehensive or collision claim. If you file a claim, and it reveals a mod you didn’t tell your provider about, they’ll likely deny coverage at least for that part of the claim, and they may cancel your policy altogether.
Yes. Any vehicle mod will likely lead to higher premiums, but lowered vehicles represent some specific risks. First, there’s the cost of the mod and the added equipment that will have to be covered in case of an accident. Second, lowered vehicles often run into (literally) other problems, like bottoming out on speed bumps or rough pavement. Even the cost to tow a lowered vehicle is higher than that for a normal car.
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