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      10-27-2012, 04:24 AM   #1
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Modifications for Insurance

I was wondering how people answered that insurance question, "has your car been modified in anyway?". I would assume cosmetic additions such as 19" wheels would make it more 'desirable' to the local scum but things like Pro Nav that can be apparent to prying eyes might also be an issue should the unthinkable happens.

Has anyone got their own experiences?
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      10-27-2012, 04:41 AM   #2
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Many insurers don't class factory fitted options as modifications. My insurer didn't want to hear what options I had on it, only if it had been modified after delivery.
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      10-27-2012, 04:41 AM   #3
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If you were fitting aftermarket 19's then I suspect your insurance company might want to know, but for factory fit/OEM 19's then I don't think you have to disclose anything. I've also heard it rumoured that if you swap out your RFTs for non-RFTs then this should be disclosed but I don't know how much truth there is in that.

On my E81 I had a custom remap done and I disclosed that to the insurers. They landed me with a 52 hike in the premium over a year - reckoned that was actually good value considering how much the remap improved the car
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      10-27-2012, 04:51 AM   #4
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Thanks guys, that is helpful. I guess the insurers have to be sensible too given the vast array of spec options that are possible.
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      10-27-2012, 05:13 AM   #5
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Maybe I'm missing the point here, but surely you need to tell your insurers about every factory option you have spec'd on the car? I always do and it doesn't affect the premium.

Say you paid 36K for a 330d spec'd it up to 42K with options, the insurance comp need to know else they will surely only pay out on a 36K car?
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      10-27-2012, 05:17 AM   #6
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Nope, many insurance companies have a new replacement policy so you get exactly the same spec from your order.

Once the car becomes 'used' it get valued at book value so options mean jack.

That's the reason you need GAP.
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      10-27-2012, 05:22 AM   #7
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A lot of insurance companies will replace with a new car for a car up to a year old, after that you need GAP as you say.

Last edited by RichardM; 10-27-2012 at 05:32 AM.
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      10-27-2012, 05:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NISFAN View Post
Nope, many insurance companies have a new replacement policy so you get exactly the same spec from your order.

Once the car becomes 'used' it get valued at book value so options mean jack.

That's the reason you need GAP.
Really? So you could have a BMW with easily 10K worth of options if you went mad on the options list, then in the second year they would only give you base price if you wrote it off? That is scandalous! But then who says insurance comp do anybody any favours.

I think it must depend on who you are insured with. Mine are happy to take down what options I have. Surely they wouldn't bother if there was no point?
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      10-27-2012, 05:28 AM   #9
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Well you obviously fight them for it, but you end up getting a fraction of what you paid in options. Options are a waste of money that is for sure, just add to depreciation BIG time.
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      10-27-2012, 05:34 AM   #10
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Well you obviously fight them for it, but you end up getting a fraction of what you paid in options. Options are a waste of money that is for sure, just add to depreciation BIG time.
Personally I enjoyed spec'ing my new car to how I wanted it. Of course it will depreciate as all cars do but I hope to enjoy it for at least five years and I got nearly 5k off full list (not that it will outweigh depreciation). If you want a base spec car then of course better to go for a demo.
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      10-27-2012, 05:42 AM   #11
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I contacted my insurance company before accepting my policy to clarify what they meant by modification. I was told that anything fitted at the factory was not classed as a modification so they didn't need to know.

I know in the event of a write off after the first year they'll screw me for the lowest possible amount they can give me which is why I took out GAP with the full replacement cover so I have that little bit more reassurance. I just look at it as another option to add onto the list

Options are mostly worthless when it comes to trade in time but that's all part of the depreciation. I intend to enjoy my car with all the options rather than worry about how little I'll get back for it when I come to trade it in. Live for today and enjoy the car while you have it, depreciation isn't worth worrying about
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      10-27-2012, 05:49 AM   #12
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[Cynical mode]
Most insurers will ask you the value of the car, so if you've splashed out on a 36K 330d with all the toys you might put down 48K. However, IMHO that's purely so they can load your premium because when it comes to paying out they look at the book value of the base spec car, then subtract a random amount to make the lowest offer they think they can get away with. When my father-in-law's new fully loaded Merc was stolen, they offered him 12K under the base book value. When challenged they said "that's all you're getting". When they eventually got a solicitor's letter they suddenly apologized and said they'd mixed their figures up. Thieving...
[/Cynical mode]

PS - I've worked for an insurance company in the past... never again. I was actually insured with them through a staff scheme and when a no-fault accident landed me in hospital and wrecked my motor they had no qualms in screwing me over!!
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      10-27-2012, 08:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjberry View Post
I contacted my insurance company before accepting my policy to clarify what they meant by modification. I was told that anything fitted at the factory was not classed as a modification so they didn't need to know.

I know in the event of a write off after the first year they'll screw me for the lowest possible amount they can give me which is why I took out GAP with the full replacement cover so I have that little bit more reassurance. I just look at it as another option to add onto the list

Options are mostly worthless when it comes to trade in time but that's all part of the depreciation. I intend to enjoy my car with all the options rather than worry about how little I'll get back for it when I come to trade it in. Live for today and enjoy the car while you have it, depreciation isn't worth worrying about
After adding another nearly 7-8k (I don't want to think about the actual figure, ostrich head in sand mode, lol) in options myself, I know what you mean.

You still have to ask yourself, would you walk into Currys and buy a 3k TV knowing that in 3 years you're going to throw it in the bin? I know I wouldn't, yet happy enough to do that with a car options. I think the pyschology of paying the 36k for the car anyway makes the extra seem only a little more.
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      10-27-2012, 09:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NISFAN View Post
After adding another nearly 7-8k (I don't want to think about the actual figure, ostrich head in sand mode, lol) in options myself, I know what you mean.

You still have to ask yourself, would you walk into Currys and buy a 3k TV knowing that in 3 years you're going to throw it in the bin? I know I wouldn't, yet happy enough to do that with a car options. I think the pyschology of paying the 36k for the car anyway makes the extra seem only a little more.
The way TV technology seems to be moving I think that may be the case anyway

I'm with you on the ostrich thinking though. I can't say I ever thought about depreciation, all I wanted was a car I could enjoy now with plenty of toys to boot. A new car is not something you buy with a financial hat on. If you did you'd never buy one. The options are just there to make that depreciation journey a bit more comfortable

I think if I'd had to tell my insurance company all the options I'd have been on the phone for ages. Thinking about it though, when metallic paint is an optional extra there would be a lot of cars with potentially invalid insurance if they had to be informed of everything!

Enjoy your car with all the factory fitted options you like is my advice
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      10-27-2012, 10:54 AM   #15
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...I'm with you on the ostrich thinking though. I can't say I ever thought about depreciation, all I wanted was a car I could enjoy now with plenty of toys to boot. A new car is not something you buy with a financial hat on. If you did you'd never buy one. The options are just there to make that depreciation journey a bit more comfortable
But we can take the sting out of the depreciation if we either keep the car a longer time, to amortise the costs over more miles, (that is business sense applied to a car as much as we can). Or buy nearly new, where the depreciation curve, particularly with loads of high cost options, makes most financial sense.

My head ruled this time, a 59k motor with less than 6k miles on the clock, loaded with goodies, at over 40% off of list.

That makes the depreciation journey "much more comfortable".

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      10-27-2012, 11:07 AM   #16
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But we can take the sting out of the depreciation if we either keep the car a longer time, to amortise the costs over more miles, (that is business sense applied to a car as much as we can). Or buy nearly new, where the depreciation curve, particularly with loads of high cost options, makes most financial sense.

My head ruled this time, a 59k motor with less than 6k miles on the clock, loaded with goodies, at over 40% off of list.

That makes the depreciation journey "much more comfortable".

HighlandPete
I've always wondered why there are these kind of cars for sale. Almost brand new and very low mileage, makes me suspicious.

What kind of legitimate reasons are there?

Wealthy/rich playboy didn't like it or got bored? Couldn't afford the payments? etc etc.
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      10-27-2012, 11:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
But we can take the sting out of the depreciation if we either keep the car a longer time, to amortise the costs over more miles, (that is business sense applied to a car as much as we can). Or buy nearly new, where the depreciation curve, particularly with loads of high cost options, makes most financial sense.

My head ruled this time, a 59k motor with less than 6k miles on the clock, loaded with goodies, at over 40% off of list.

That makes the depreciation journey "much more comfortable".

HighlandPete
I'm with you Pete apart from the more research I did the more
Gadgets I wanted especially HUD. For an F30 this seems a rare option. My personal feeling is that if you decide to buy new you might has well enjoy the benefit of choosing your spec and depreciation is inevitable. I hope six years on my pain will be softened, no point thinking of changing before that for me.
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      10-27-2012, 11:29 AM   #18
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I've always wondered why there are these kind of cars for sale. Almost brand new and very low mileage, makes me suspicious.

What kind of legitimate reasons are there?

Wealthy/rich playboy didn't like it or got bored? Couldn't afford the payments? etc etc.
BMW HQ cars have to be off loaded, if you choose a car which isn't the norm, and harder to shift = bigger discount.

Who buys large petrol cars these days? When mpg and fuel costs is the marker for most buyers. But put your business head on (if you can for buying cars and the fact they are money pits) and they can be as cheap to run than lesser value diesel models. Depreciation is the biggest running expense, and as seen here in this very thread, folks bury their head to that fact. But it is the cost we can save 's on. But the common thinking on fuel costs, typically leaves the 'gems' out there to a limited buying market.

Some of these expensive cars only cost about 2 to 3 pence a mile more a mile to fuel than the diesel version, with a far bigger saving per mile on the depreciation, even across the life of the car, once away from the initial plunge in value, which the prudent buyer doesn't have to pay for.

But there are also good 'nearly new' diesel bargains out there as well, just not quite the same as for the petrol engined models. But you may have to 'time' the buying, to suit what is in the market.

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      10-27-2012, 11:38 AM   #19
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I'm with you Pete apart from the more research I did the more
Gadgets I wanted especially HUD. For an F30 this seems a rare option. My personal feeling is that if you decide to buy new you might has well enjoy the benefit of choosing your spec and depreciation is inevitable. I hope six years on my pain will be softened, no point thinking of changing before that for me.
"Options", that is the issue, particularly with a new model like the F30/1. It is a key reason why I looked again at the 5-series, as I know, like yourself, that it will be hard to find decent specced 'nearly new' F30/1 for some time. I even believe with the lines and all the options, it will now be even harder to find a car to suit our personal 'used car' wish list.

Keeping a car for decent number of years, is the only way to really buy a new car, and not suffer depreciation too badly, and get more value out of the car itself.

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      10-27-2012, 12:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
But we can take the sting out of the depreciation if we either keep the car a longer time, to amortise the costs over more miles, (that is business sense applied to a car as much as we can). Or buy nearly new, where the depreciation curve, particularly with loads of high cost options, makes most financial sense.

My head ruled this time, a 59k motor with less than 6k miles on the clock, loaded with goodies, at over 40% off of list.

That makes the depreciation journey "much more comfortable".

HighlandPete
True enough, if I hadn't planned on keeping this car a while then the option list would have been much less. The thinking behind the options list was that the more I add, the longer the car will hold me rather than the usual bored feeling that comes along all too soon. My depreciation journey will be a long one and one I intend to enjoy every mile of
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      10-27-2012, 01:09 PM   #21
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True enough, if I hadn't planned on keeping this car a while then the option list would have been much less. The thinking behind the options list was that the more I add, the longer the car will hold me rather than the usual bored feeling that comes along all too soon. My depreciation journey will be a long one and one I intend to enjoy every mile of
Ha ha, problem is.......the very people that buy new cars........are the ones that really appreciate the 'new car' thing. I told myself 2 years ago I was going to 'keep this one', here I am waiting for another I am going to 'keep this one'.
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      10-27-2012, 01:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deyvy View Post
I've always wondered why there are these kind of cars for sale. Almost brand new and very low mileage, makes me suspicious.

What kind of legitimate reasons are there?

Wealthy/rich playboy didn't like it or got bored? Couldn't afford the payments? etc etc.
Can be ex-Demo's (you can tell these as they normally have 'BMW corporate' reg numbers), cancelled lease deals, or the dreaded Rejected for faults ex customer cars.
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