Do I Need Sound System Insurance?

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Car radio (Photo: @3gr7Studio via Twenty20)
If you have an aftermarket sound system, odds are, it won’t be covered by your standard car insurance policy. Without sound system insurance, you will be on the hook for the repair or replacement costs if your sound system is stolen, vandalized, or damaged in an accident.

What is sound system insurance?

Sound system insurance is an auto insurance policy add-on that protects modified sound systems.
Unfortunately, sound system theft is a relatively common occurrence. This coverage will help ensure that you are never put in a position of having to foot the bill on a potentially costly replacement.

When will standard car insurance cover a sound system?

If you haven’t replaced or modified any of the components of your sound system, it will likely be covered under your basic auto policy, comprehensive insurance, or collision coverage.
Comprehensive coverage protects your stereo from vandalism and acts of nature, whereas collision coverage protects your stereo if it is damaged or broken in an accident.
Keep in mind that some insurance companies may exclude sound systems from basic coverage even if they come installed in a new car. It’s always a good idea to double-check the details of your policy to ensure you have the coverage you need.

Do I need sound system coverage?

When your insurance company calculates your premiums, they factor in the market value of your vehicle. If you install an expensive new stereo system that raises the value of your car, you will subsequently need to purchase extra coverage.
You are a good candidate for sound system coverage if you have a high-value sound system that will cost more than your insurance deductible.
If you decide not to cover your aftermarket sound system and you are in an accident or your car is stolen, your sound system will likely not be covered by your insurance policy.

How much does sound system insurance cost?

The cost of sound system insurance varies from provider to provider. As a general rule, the more valuable the sound system, the more it will cost to insure.
When you’re speaking with an insurance agent, it’s important to give an honest assessment of your sound system’s value to ensure you receive an adequate reimbursement to fix or replace your sound system if you ever need to go through the claims process.

Will installing an aftermarket sound system impact my existing insurance?

Installing aftermarket audio equipment can definitely impact your car insurance, especially if it’s an expensive system. Not only does an aftermarket sound system potentially raise the value of your car, it could also increase the risk of theft. Therefore, your policy might be subjected to higher rates because of those factors.
Depending on the insurer they might decline to insure your new sound system altogether. It’s a good idea to contact your insurance company before you install any aftermarket parts to prevent a potential lapse in your insurance.

How to file a claim for a stolen stereo

There are many ways to file a claim including in person, online, or over the phone. Regardless of how you contact your insurance company, be sure to reach out as soon as possible after the incident occurs.
Be prepared to provide:
  • Insurance information
  • The location of the vehicle
  • How the damage occurred
  • Information on any other damaged or stolen components

Sound system coverage deductibles

Most companies will request that you submit the receipt for the repair or replacement of your stereo and reimburse you accordingly.
Remember, you will likely have to pay a deductible. Depending on the degree of damage and the resulting expenses, filing a claim might not be worth it. For instance, if your deductible is $700 and replacing your stereo is only $500, it’s more expensive to make a claim than pay for the repair out of pocket.
For that reason, it is a good idea to get an estimate for the repair or replacement of your sound system before submitting a claim to your insurance company.

Other damages that may be covered if your sound system is stolen

If your vehicle was damaged in other ways as a result of your sound system being stolen, you might be able to claim those damages under your sound system coverage.
For example, the thief may have also caused damage to your car’s locks and wiring. This can substantially increase the cost of repairing your vehicle, which might make it worthwhile to file a claim.
Depending on the details of your policy, additional damage inflicted to your vehicle as a result of your sound system being stolen may not be covered under sound system coverage. That means you could be on the hook for covering two deductibles to repair your vehicle.
For that reason, it’s important to make sure that your policy add-ons work in conjunction with your existing car insurance so you won’t ever be at a loss if you need to file claims.

How to buy sound system insurance

There’s no shortage of insurance coverage out there. Finding policies and add-ons to fit your specific coverage and budgetary needs can be daunting.
Jerry provides a comprehensive, fact-based analysis of all your insurance needs and then provides three annual recommended top coverage options for you to choose from. Because … let’s be honest … who has time to review all the insurance options available today? At Jerry, we’ve got you covered (literally).