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Old 09-30-2017, 01:47 PM   #1
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Will your insurance deny your claim?

I came across this today. The site discusses insurance company policy regarding vehicle modifications like a lift kit, and payment of claims in the event of an accident. They recomend asking your agent if your coverage will apply if you modify your van, but my experience is that it's difficult to get a clear answer. Fortunately though, they claim my insurer, State Farm, is ok with lifts - What You Need To Know About Street Legal Laws

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Old 10-03-2017, 11:43 AM   #2
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list anything on the application that has been done. that is what saved my ass on my claim. i listed the 4x4 conversion with lift, and custom bumpers, on the original application. when the adjuster pulled that finally, it was all that was needed to pay my total loss claim. got a check $28k for a van i paid $30k for.

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Old 10-04-2017, 02:32 AM   #3
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I don't believe Colorado has any insurance type laws regarding modified or lifted vehicles.

As far as dealing with insurance companies on my personal stuff:
This is my experience with Allstate...... They suck!

For vehicles through Allstate, they only pay book value at best. They don't care how much you've spent in upgrades or 4x4 conversions. You can increase your coverage based on what you have into the vehicle, but they will charge you. A lot!

Also note that your homeowners insurance is the same way. You may have full coverage insurance on your house, but read the fine print. They will cover the structure in the case of total loss and about 1% of your personal items. In the case of theft or damage to personal items you will find you have NO coverage at all! I always assumed that if it was in my house or garage, it was covered. I was completely wrong. After I got the proper insurance to cover my climbing gear, firearms and race equipment/tools, my homeowners insurance went up 400%.

A few years ago my truck was broken into. Roughly $3000 worth of items were stolen. Allstate covered the damage to my vehicle and paid for my prescription glasses, after my $100 deductible. That is what spurred me to check into all my full coverage I had through Allstate.
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:58 AM   #4
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Get an agreed value policy and an appraisal. It isn't worth hassle dealing with everything after the fact.

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Old 10-04-2017, 12:51 PM   #5
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The original question isn't just about getting a comprehensive payout.

The really scary bit is if you're in an at-fault, or even no-fault situation and your insurance decides to deny liability coverage because the vehicle was deemed to be less safe than the vehicle they thought they were insuring.

For that matter, you could imagine a situation where someone sustained an injury when they were at fault and they start to claim that this injury would not have occurred if you were not operating a vehicle that their counsel is portraying as unsafe. You really want your insurance to be standing up for you in that case.

My insurer knows that my van was substantially modified for the 4x4 conversion. I was very clear with them on that, and I do think I pay just a bit more for that.

The catch-all, that anyone with real assets should have, is however a personal umbrella policy. Those actual policies aren't that much, but they do require you to have more substantial limits on your automobile liability portions. That portion does cost quite a bit more than the legally required minimums.

'99 EB ex ENG KSWB news van, low rent 4x4 conversion (mostly fixed by now), home built interior.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:55 PM   #6
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I have heard stories of drivers of modified vehicles being found at fault for accidents that they had not caused--but that ended up being worse due to things like bumper heights that exceeded state maximums, etc. From my perspective, it is worth it to find out if a rig is in compliance or out of compliance, both for legal protection and to maintain insurance coverage.

This was one of my considerations when I made a decision regarding my 4x4 conversion. We have a collection of really talented folks who have designed a variety of conversions for our vans. They are all different, and they all have their benefits and their drawbacks. One of the considerations, for me, was if the conversion was an authorized Ford upfit, and if the provider carried appropriate product liability insurance. These two things would protect me from liability for an "out of spec" modification in the event of an accident, and they would prevent an insurance company from denying coverage due to unapproved mods.

I believe there are many things to consider with any van conversion; many benefits and drawbacks with every decision we make. My goal, with my rig, is to be conscious of the potential impacts of every choice I make, and to select the choice-impact couplings that maximize my experience, given my use case. It is, of course, different for each person.

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