If you are a car enthusiast, you might have considered making modifications to your vehicle to boost its performance or create a personalized aesthetic. But does modifying your vehicle in Ohio affect your car insurance rates? Let’s find out.
The Buckeye State has a fair share of rules and legislations that are downright quirky. Did you know that it is illegal for stores in Columbus to sell corn flakes on Sundays? Or that it is illegal to catch mice without a hunting license in Cleveland? While Ohio still has several antiquated laws in place even now, it has strict rules regarding car modifications. So let’s take a look at how you can legally modify your car in the state without affecting car insurance in Ohio quotes.
What exactly is a modified vehicle?
A modified car is one that has had unique bodywork, functional changes, or increased performance added to it. Typically, any changes from the original factory specifications of your vehicle are considered modifications. Generally speaking, people modify their cars to improve their life, performance, and functionality. Some of the most commonly modified parts in cars include stereo systems, custom wheels and paint jobs, larger wheels and tires, winches, anti-roll bars, engine remaps, and suspension upgrades.
Some even modify their car to make them disabled-friendly. These modifications generally comprise steering cuffs, pedal extenders, push-pull hand controls, wheelchair ramps and lifts, and wheelchair-adjustable seat belts.
Should I inform my insurance carrier about the modifications?
Yes, you must! If you’ve added or changed any bits in your car that didn’t come straight off the production line, it is important to inform your insurance carrier to update your insurance policy to reflect the changes. To insure a modified vehicle in Ohio, make sure you know what’s legal and what’s not. Besides, it’s always a good idea to talk to your insurance agent before making a modification, as they’ll be able to tell you whether your current policy covers the changes or whether you need to into other insurance companies.
How can I modify my vehicle legally in Ohio?
To legally modify a vehicle in Ohio, knowing what’s allowed and what’s not is important. Ohio has strict laws and ordinances to control sound levels emitted from a vehicle. All vehicles are required to have mufflers to prevent excessive noise. This means muffler bypasses or engine noise amplifying devices are banned in the state. The law states that passenger cars in Ohio cannot exceed 70 decibels when traveling at 35mph or less and 79 decibels at speeds above 35mph. We’d suggest you enquire about noise ordinances with your local county as these rules are, at times, more stringent than the state laws.
As for sound systems, the law seems to be vague in Ohio. It only states that the sound emitted from your car’s sound system must not cause annoyance for other road users or make it difficult to converse with your passengers.
If you own a truck or an off-road vehicle, you’ll be glad to know that Ohio does not have any specific laws regarding suspension lifts or frame lifts. However, this does not mean you can turn your workhorse into Bigfoot as there are regulations regarding the height of the bumper based on Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). For cars and SUVs, the maximum front and rear bumper cannot exceed a height of 22 inches.
Tuners and boy-racers also have reasons to rejoice in Ohio as the state does not have specific laws regarding engine modifications or engine swaps. However, make sure your car meets emissions testing as you could be fined heavily for failing the test. Not all insurance carriers provide car insurance in Ohio quotes for modified vehicles. So make sure to shop around for the best car insurance quotes in Ohio with the way.com website or app. Click on the banner below to get cheap car insurance quotes within minutes!
What type of coverage do I need for a modified car?
Typically, a standard car insurance policy does not cover modifications done to your car. And that applies even if you have collision or comprehensive coverage. Instead, you will likely need to purchase modified car insurance. Insurance companies such as Hagerty provide modified car coverage for vehicles with significant updates to their frame, body, chassis, and engine worth $10,000 or more.
We recommend speaking to your insurance agent to know what type of policy changes may be required to have some form of modified vehicle insurance. You could get a policy that offers coverage for customized parts and new equipment such as an upgraded stereo system, custom wheels, a new paint job, etc. Such coverage typically has a limit of around $5000
Can I reduce car insurance rates in Ohio by modifying my car?
Sure, you can. Not all modifications are going to cost you an arm and a leg to insure. If the changes were done to your car to improve its safety or security, you could expect your insurance carrier to reduce your premiums. These modifications range from installing new airbags, rearview cameras, anti-theft devices, blindspot detectors, etc. Having a clean driving record and paying the full premium upfront are other ways to obtain discounts on your car insurance premiums.