How are you covered?
Your sound system might not be automatically covered by your car insurance. If you’ve invested in a higher quality sound system for your car, it might be well worth making sure it’s covered by your car insurance.
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When will and won’t it be covered?
If the sound system came with the car, then it’s probably covered. If it was an aftermarket addition, then it probably counts as a vehicle modification instead.
If it’s a manufacturer-installed system then it can be insured as part of the vehicle’s combined sum insured. This will be the case as long as it comes as part of the vehicle, whether or not you’ve chosen the higher or lower quality version, where available.
If it’s a modification, you’ll probably need to make sure you specifically list it as a feature of the car. This will almost certainly raise your insurance premiums, but you won’t be properly covered without it.
The sound system doesn’t generally affect vehicle performance, so you can probably get it covered by most insurers without too much fuss.
How is the sound system covered?
As a listed modification, or a default feature, your sound system will be covered similarly.
- For its own damage: If the sound system itself is damaged, even if the rest of the car isn’t, you may be able to claim the repairs on your car insurance. Note that car insurance doesn’t usually cover electrical failure or wear and tear, so you probably won’t be able to claim if it simply breaks. There will generally need to be a distinct event, like an accident, in order for you to claim.
- As part of the car itself: The value of the sound system is included in the total value of the car. So if it’s written off, then your payout might include the value of the sound system, along with any other listed modifications and the vehicle itself.
If your sound system is not covered, such as if it’s an aftermarket system that you didn’t clear with your insurer, then you wouldn’t be able to claim if it was damaged, and its value wouldn’t be included as part of the car itself.
In almost all situations, the only type of car insurance that will cover damage to the sound system (or any other part of your car) is comprehensive car insurance, rather than the more basic cover.
How does my sound system affect my car insurance?
A more expensive sound system will increase your car insurance premiums. This is because:
- It makes your car more expensive: You’re insuring more dollars worth of property (have a higher sum insured), so naturally your premiums will go up.
- It may affect the risks: A desirable sound system might make a car more at risk of theft, or in certain situations the installation might even affect the safety or performance of the car. An insurer might charge extra, on top of the increased sum insured, to offset risks. Sometimes an insurer might decline to cover you altogether, although this is unlikely if your only modification is the sound system.
How will installing a new sound system affect my existing car insurance?
You’ll have to make sure you notify your insurer after getting it installed, so your insurance can be upgraded. You might also want to notify them beforehand, to double check whether you’ll still be able to get covered by the same insurer.
The quality of the work might also affect your car insurance. For example, you probably won’t be covered for damage that results from the modifications. For example, if the structural integrity of the car is compromised which results in more damage.
The insurer might want to verify that you’re getting the repairs done by an experienced and qualified mechanic.
How much is my sound system insured for?
If it’s a manufacturer-installed part of the base vehicle, then your sound system might not be insured for any specific amount. In the event of a total loss it’s just part of the car’s market value.
If you’re claiming specifically for damage to the sound system, then the insurer will most likely consider it on a case by case basis and work out how much repairs or replacement will cost for that system in your situation.
If you’re in a situation where you’re claiming repairs for your sound system on car insurance, odds are you’ll be claiming a fair bit of other damage too. The sound system will be joining the other damage as part of the total costs.
What about an aftermarket sound system?
As an aftermarket addition, your car sound system will generally be insured at the value you specify. Ideally, this should be the market value of whichever system you have.
There’s no point in overstating its value, because the insurer will only pay out how much it’s actually worth.
You don’t want to understate its worth for lower premiums either, because then you won’t be able to claim its full worth on your car insurance.
How can I reduce my car insurance premiums?
The number one tip for low car premiums is to drive a dirt cheap car. If that’s not going to happen, then the number two tip is probably to shop around and compare policies to find a good deal.
If you have a particularly fancy ride, or just a bad-to-average ride with a really great sound system, then you might find yourself looking at prestige car insurance brands. All will tend to offer agreed value cover, and they’re often more understanding with modifications than the mainstream insurers.