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(Post Link) post #1 of 21 Old 20-11-07 Thread Starter
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Hmmm modifying?

what counts as modifications? if i replace a broken part with a pattern part rather than an alfa orginal is this modifying it? what if i replace an alfa gas dampener with a same ride height bilstein non performance one? where is the line drawn between replacing parts and modifying?
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Re: modifying?

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Originally Posted by Decky View Post
what counts as modifications? if i replace a broken part with a pattern part rather than an alfa orginal is this modifying it? what if i replace an alfa gas dampener with a same ride height bilstein non performance one? where is the line drawn between replacing parts and modifying?


An extremely brilliant question.

Hope someone can answer it

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Re: modifying?

a modification is something that either serves a specific purpose as an upgrade, and/or enhances the appearance/performance of the vehicle.

so for example, replacing your Alfa air filter with a K&N panel filter, is a modification, as K&N claim to increase bhp by fitting. however, replacing your Alfa air filter with a pattern part is not a modification, as the pattern parts are made to mimic the spec of the Alfa part.

pattern parts are ok to fit, and dont need declaring to your insurer.
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Re: modifying?

oh, sorry, if the bilstein gas damper has the same spec as the alfa one, its not a modification, but if it is designed to be stiffer, or alter the ride height, its a modification.
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Re: modifying?

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Originally Posted by aziraphale View Post
oh, sorry, if the bilstein gas damper has the same spec as the alfa one, its not a modification, but if it is designed to be stiffer, or alter the ride height, its a modification.
From my limited conversations with my insurance company I believe aziraphale has hit the nail on the head. I was told that if the performance was altered or the look of the car was altered then it was considered a mod. I was looking to replace my rear spoiler with one that was the same but with a brake light built in and was told it was not considered a mod, but if i had replaced it with a tall spoiler or anything that did not look like the standard one then it was a mod
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Re: modifying?

I was once told by an insurer that if the stainless steel exhaust I was about to fit was "not intended to increase performance" then they didn't want to know about it. (I had chosen the ss route because it was cheraper than a standard exhaust for the 145)
So, according to them, even if it DID increase performance, if it was being fitted as a standard part, not as an improvement, they didn't count it a modification.

To be fair though, as I never thought to get that in writing, I never felt 100% secure in my position while I had that car with that exhaust from then on. If you do speak to an insurer, and they do say that, I'd definitely get it confirmed in writing.

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Re: modifying?

from working in insurance, albeit not car insurance, i know a wee bit. there is one statement in nearly every insurance policy on the planet that should be remembered: " if you unsure whether a fact is material or not, you should disclose it anyway."

this meaning, if you are unsure whether a "change" is going to affect/increase performance, you should just ring your insurer and clarify. one thing im unsure of is poly bushes.

bazza, unsure why an insurer would have told you that, because as far as i know, all s/s systems claim power increases....and you cant get standard spec replacements made in s/s unless custom built?
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Re: modifying?

Disclose anything that you are niggly about, then you've covered your ar$e.

If it's minor then it won't increase your premium anyway
 
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Re: modifying?

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Originally Posted by aziraphale View Post
bazza, unsure why an insurer would have told you that, because as far as i know, all s/s systems claim power increases....and you cant get standard spec replacements made in s/s unless custom built?
This is my point. It wasn't about whether it actually did improve performance, it was about whether your fitting of it was for that purpose.
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Re: modifying?

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This is my point. It wasn't about whether it actually did improve performance, it was about whether your fitting of it was for that purpose.
i *might* have the wrong end of the stick with this reply...

it doesnt matter what the purpose of the upgrade is, if it does increase the performance or in any way change the standard behaviour of the car, then it must be declared as a material fact.

what that insurer told you must be utter bobbins, as if it was, every chav would just say to them, "ive got this massive stainless exhaust(or induction kit/suspension setup, yadda yadda etc) but its not being used as a modification, its because it was cheaper than buying a standard one and my standard one needed replacing"

most mods are fitted "as standard parts", ie direct-fit replacements of standard, unless, completely custom designed and built.
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Re: modifying?

From the last inquisition she had, for re-insuring her Alfa, looks as if they are tightening the screws on modifications a bit? Trying to get to grips with some of the 'fastards' that want to blow what little brain I have left,into the next world! Stamp on Em' I say, as I fumble to find Me' bus pass.
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Re: modifying?

mmm i better get onto my insurer then and have a chat

also what about parts that are available on models from the factory but werent on YOUR car when it left the factory, ie. 17" wheels instead of 16" a factory spoiler or a Q2 diff?

Last edited by Decky; 02-12-07 at 22:13.
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Re: modifying?

What about the guy who unknowingly bought a car with a modified air filter setup. What if he was one of the many people who don't know what an air filter is ?
Sincerest apologies for being sexist, this could also apply to ladies .Debate ...........
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Re: modifying?

thats a fair point, however, you would *assume* in most cases like that, that the seller would point this out to a buyer as a bonus, ie if the seller thought you knew precisely buggerall about car engines/mechanics, they could BS you with a tale of how said airfilter gives you eleventybillion more bhp, and a smoother ride, then in which case, you would know.

if it was something which you cannot see or hear without dismantling stuff or getting under the car, ie anything internal to the engine, or a decat pipe for instance, you could claim that you dont know any better, but again, a seller will probably give some spiel about the car's upgrades if he thinks you arent all that knowledgable about them, and wants to make the sale.
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Re: modifying?

Equally I think shouting about your mega air filter when selling a car would put a lot of people off so it would be highly likely to buy a modified car without knowing.
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Re: modifying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Decky View Post
mmm i better get onto my insurer then and have a chat

also what about parts that are available on models from the factory but werent on YOUR car when it left the factory, ie. 17" wheels instead of 16" a factory spoiler or a Q2 diff?
It's a modification. It's a change after manufacture.

As an aside, Bell weren't willing to insure my car after i had a Q2 fitted. Elephant not only quoted lower than I was paying for the unmodified car with Bell but also were significantly lower than the renewal quote I had from them on the unmodified car.
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Re: modifying?

Always report any change from the standard spec as delivered to your insurance company, otherwise you could be in trouble. They don't always charge more. I just reported my new air filter and carbon intake pipe upgrade and my insurer (CK/Equity Red Star) didn't charge extra (but has noted this on the policy).

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Re: modifying?

I should think this could be very difficult to preve in the event of a total loss.
Most assesors would be worried if the car looked like someone had poured superglue over it then driven through Halfrauds - you know the cars - Bling.
If the car looks genuine, fitted with Alfa parts - wheels - spoiler - skirts etc then I doubt this would even get noticed.
It certainly didn't when I totalled a car with wheels from a higher spec model, but I'm sure it would if they were aftermarket Bling.
Sensible modding should not attract interest (Q2 included) but keep calling your insurerer asking lots of questions and they might think your a bit of a boy racer and a higher risk?
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Re: modifying?

its the stick-on bits that insurers notice mainly, yes, but it depends on the bits that arent noticeable just from looking too, when an engineer/assessor looks it over.

ie, standard looking, but with engine internal work upping the power, an engineer will notice as soon as the car is started/driven.

wheels from a higher-spec model they may not be fussed about, because every car going these days can get different alloys, een if they arent your polished bling rimz, fo' shizzle, but if you then got other body parts, ie spoilers/bumper valances from a higher spec model, then they may be suspicious and be wondering if anything else had been done that isnt immediately obvious.
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Re: modifying?

what about a remap? unless they put it on a rolling road or download the ecu file and compare it how are they going to know? and why would they?
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Re: modifying?

On a turbo diesel a dealer/ins sompany will instantly know its remapped should they do a road test, if they really wanted to they could measure boost, you can't exactly hide it.

If a dealer or insurance company have any reason to invalidate a claim they will put in the effort, trust me I've been there, had a engineer out to inspect my car after an accident in '97 and had the insurance voided due to undeclared mods, I had declared most but didn't think they'd pick up some others, very expensive loss for me, insurers are even more clued up about mods etc these days, so I wouldn't expect to get around it, I managed to get a 50% payout through some long winded legal stuffs.

I declare any chnage at all from manufacturers spec theses days even down to interior spec chnages like my door handles on the Alfa its a chore and means you can never do an online quote but there are no grey areas.
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