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#31 Cooperman

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 06:40 PM


But none of that is any sort of modification. If you feel it is, then you should inform the insurer if you change from, say, or from Dunlop to Falken tyres,


Now back when we had all that snow last december I did recall hearing that some insurers voided peoples policies for fitting non-standard specification snow tyres.


I would be very interested to learn more details about this because we are part of the EU now and some countries in the EU mandate winter tyres during Winter. My son, who has an Audi A4 which is registered and used in the UK but who spends a lot of time in Germany with his work is required by German law to have Winter tyres. It's hard to see how any insurance company could void a policy because an owner decided to comply with the law. You will find that, somewhere in the Mini's homologation paperwork there will be an approved size and specification for Winter tyres. No European insurer can ignore EU rules and if a policy has been voided in writing by a UK insurer due to the car having properly fitted correct size Winter tyres the European Commission should be informed as they will have a serious point of view.
And, yes, I do know what I'm talking about here as some years ago I had to report a German organisation for applying their own rules as being above EU regulations. The German organisation had to alter their rules.
I have to say, this thread is a lot of nonsense as water hoses, ignition leads and the colour of the paint on the block are not alterations or modifications in the sense the insurance company mean. By 'cosmetic appearance' they mean things like spoilers and air dams, ultra-wide wheel arch extensions, bonnet scoops, body kits and similar mods.
Of course lowered suspension, wider wheels, different brakes, different head, cam, carb(s), manifolds, exhaust systems, seats, seat belts, a roll-cage, white competition number squares on the doors (with or without numbers), suspension arms, fibreglass body panels, etc, are modifications are all modifications and should be declared.
The problem the insurance companies have with an old vehicle like the Mini is obtaining a definitive specification of what is standard on a specific model. For example,m even after years with Minis I could not get a definitive answer as to what the standard cam was as fitted to a 1990 Cooper 1275. I also got conflicting answers as to inlet valve sizes for the same car.
Say, for example, you have a Mini without wheel arch extensions. How would an insurer know whether they were or were not fitted as standard? Some models had them and some didn't.
Refusal to pay out will happen when highly visible alterations are not declared. It is unimaginable that an assessor would recommend non-payment of a claim because the cylinder block was black and not red, or the steel rocker cover was painted silver not green. Mini engines have been green, silver, gold, black, red and yellow over the last 50 years.

#32 minikidx14

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:20 PM



But none of that is any sort of modification. If you feel it is, then you should inform the insurer if you change from, say, or from Dunlop to Falken tyres,


Now back when we had all that snow last december I did recall hearing that some insurers voided peoples policies for fitting non-standard specification snow tyres.


I would be very interested to learn more details about this because we are part of the EU now and some countries in the EU mandate winter tyres during Winter. My son, who has an Audi A4 which is registered and used in the UK but who spends a lot of time in Germany with his work is required by German law to have Winter tyres. It's hard to see how any insurance company could void a policy because an owner decided to comply with the law. You will find that, somewhere in the Mini's homologation paperwork there will be an approved size and specification for Winter tyres. No European insurer can ignore EU rules and if a policy has been voided in writing by a UK insurer due to the car having properly fitted correct size Winter tyres the European Commission should be informed as they will have a serious point of view.
And, yes, I do know what I'm talking about here as some years ago I had to report a German organisation for applying their own rules as being above EU regulations. The German organisation had to alter their rules.
I have to say, this thread is a lot of nonsense as water hoses, ignition leads and the colour of the paint on the block are not alterations or modifications in the sense the insurance company mean. By 'cosmetic appearance' they mean things like spoilers and air dams, ultra-wide wheel arch extensions, bonnet scoops, body kits and similar mods.
Of course lowered suspension, wider wheels, different brakes, different head, cam, carb(s), manifolds, exhaust systems, seats, seat belts, a roll-cage, white competition number squares on the doors (with or without numbers), suspension arms, fibreglass body panels, etc, are modifications are all modifications and should be declared.
The problem the insurance companies have with an old vehicle like the Mini is obtaining a definitive specification of what is standard on a specific model. For example,m even after years with Minis I could not get a definitive answer as to what the standard cam was as fitted to a 1990 Cooper 1275. I also got conflicting answers as to inlet valve sizes for the same car.
Say, for example, you have a Mini without wheel arch extensions. How would an insurer know whether they were or were not fitted as standard? Some models had them and some didn't.
Refusal to pay out will happen when highly visible alterations are not declared. It is unimaginable that an assessor would recommend non-payment of a claim because the cylinder block was black and not red, or the steel rocker cover was painted silver not green. Mini engines have been green, silver, gold, black, red and yellow over the last 50 years.


But where do you draw a line of what modifications should be declared? Surely having trackday tyres fitted should be 'higher' then a sticker on a door. If you have to tell your insurers about a square on your door then you should have to tell them about a sticker in your rear window?

As im sure you are aware there has never been a classic mini made with an alloy rocker cover or silicone hoses (as far as i know), So both would be classed as modified from standard specification.

I havent said that an insurer WOULD refuse paying out im saying that they COULD.

#33 Cooperman

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 08:01 PM




But none of that is any sort of modification. If you feel it is, then you should inform the insurer if you change from, say, or from Dunlop to Falken tyres,


Now back when we had all that snow last december I did recall hearing that some insurers voided peoples policies for fitting non-standard specification snow tyres.


I would be very interested to learn more details about this because we are part of the EU now and some countries in the EU mandate winter tyres during Winter. My son, who has an Audi A4 which is registered and used in the UK but who spends a lot of time in Germany with his work is required by German law to have Winter tyres. It's hard to see how any insurance company could void a policy because an owner decided to comply with the law. You will find that, somewhere in the Mini's homologation paperwork there will be an approved size and specification for Winter tyres. No European insurer can ignore EU rules and if a policy has been voided in writing by a UK insurer due to the car having properly fitted correct size Winter tyres the European Commission should be informed as they will have a serious point of view.
And, yes, I do know what I'm talking about here as some years ago I had to report a German organisation for applying their own rules as being above EU regulations. The German organisation had to alter their rules.
I have to say, this thread is a lot of nonsense as water hoses, ignition leads and the colour of the paint on the block are not alterations or modifications in the sense the insurance company mean. By 'cosmetic appearance' they mean things like spoilers and air dams, ultra-wide wheel arch extensions, bonnet scoops, body kits and similar mods.
Of course lowered suspension, wider wheels, different brakes, different head, cam, carb(s), manifolds, exhaust systems, seats, seat belts, a roll-cage, white competition number squares on the doors (with or without numbers), suspension arms, fibreglass body panels, etc, are modifications are all modifications and should be declared.
The problem the insurance companies have with an old vehicle like the Mini is obtaining a definitive specification of what is standard on a specific model. For example,m even after years with Minis I could not get a definitive answer as to what the standard cam was as fitted to a 1990 Cooper 1275. I also got conflicting answers as to inlet valve sizes for the same car.
Say, for example, you have a Mini without wheel arch extensions. How would an insurer know whether they were or were not fitted as standard? Some models had them and some didn't.
Refusal to pay out will happen when highly visible alterations are not declared. It is unimaginable that an assessor would recommend non-payment of a claim because the cylinder block was black and not red, or the steel rocker cover was painted silver not green. Mini engines have been green, silver, gold, black, red and yellow over the last 50 years.


But where do you draw a line of what modifications should be declared? Surely having trackday tyres fitted should be 'higher' then a sticker on a door. If you have to tell your insurers about a square on your door then you should have to tell them about a sticker in your rear window?

As im sure you are aware there has never been a classic mini made with an alloy rocker cover or silicone hoses (as far as i know), So both would be classed as modified from standard specification.

I havent said that an insurer WOULD refuse paying out im saying that they COULD.


A white door square is taken as a sign that the owner thinks he is a racing driver ('boy-racer' is the popular term) and is thus viewed as likely to drive in a somewhat 'less prudent' manner. It a highly visible cosmetic alteration. A sticker in the rear window saying 'supplied by ABC Motors' can hardly be a mod.
With regard to tyres, any EU legal tyre of a size and speed rating homologated for the car must, by definition be acceptable to an insurer - hence my comments re: Winter tread-pattern tyres. If your track-day tyre is correctly E-marked and of a size and speed rating specified as an homologated size, then no declaration is needed.
How the heck a stronger water hose can be regarded as a declarable mod is quite beyond me as it can have absolutely no impact on the insured risk. I think an aluminium alloy rocker cover should not be declarable as it's only fitted to reduce oil leaks and for no other reason.
Non-standard suspension parts are declarable of course, although after-market standard dampers surely need not be declared as they are what Quik-Fit would fit, for example, if you took your car there.
The issue will come when genuine original parts are no longer available, as is the case with many classic cars. In such cases the insurer's views seem to be that so long as the replacement replicates the original in terms of dimensions and materials, it is OK. On my road car, a BMW, I've just fitted aftermarket standard brake discs. I've not declared this to my insurers as I can't see any issue there. I also fitted screen wipers from Halfords and these are not made by the same company as the originals. Again no declaration.
Some common sense is needed here. With my 1964 Cooper 'S' rally car I submitted a 4-page build and specification sheet to the insurers and that had absolutely everything on it. On my Innocenti Cooper I declared it as absolutely standard even though it has RHD headlights but is a LHD car. The original standard lights would be illegal on a UK registered car.
Just use some common sense about it all.

#34 minikidx14

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 08:29 PM





But none of that is any sort of modification. If you feel it is, then you should inform the insurer if you change from, say, or from Dunlop to Falken tyres,


Now back when we had all that snow last december I did recall hearing that some insurers voided peoples policies for fitting non-standard specification snow tyres.


I would be very interested to learn more details about this because we are part of the EU now and some countries in the EU mandate winter tyres during Winter. My son, who has an Audi A4 which is registered and used in the UK but who spends a lot of time in Germany with his work is required by German law to have Winter tyres. It's hard to see how any insurance company could void a policy because an owner decided to comply with the law. You will find that, somewhere in the Mini's homologation paperwork there will be an approved size and specification for Winter tyres. No European insurer can ignore EU rules and if a policy has been voided in writing by a UK insurer due to the car having properly fitted correct size Winter tyres the European Commission should be informed as they will have a serious point of view.
And, yes, I do know what I'm talking about here as some years ago I had to report a German organisation for applying their own rules as being above EU regulations. The German organisation had to alter their rules.
I have to say, this thread is a lot of nonsense as water hoses, ignition leads and the colour of the paint on the block are not alterations or modifications in the sense the insurance company mean. By 'cosmetic appearance' they mean things like spoilers and air dams, ultra-wide wheel arch extensions, bonnet scoops, body kits and similar mods.
Of course lowered suspension, wider wheels, different brakes, different head, cam, carb(s), manifolds, exhaust systems, seats, seat belts, a roll-cage, white competition number squares on the doors (with or without numbers), suspension arms, fibreglass body panels, etc, are modifications are all modifications and should be declared.
The problem the insurance companies have with an old vehicle like the Mini is obtaining a definitive specification of what is standard on a specific model. For example,m even after years with Minis I could not get a definitive answer as to what the standard cam was as fitted to a 1990 Cooper 1275. I also got conflicting answers as to inlet valve sizes for the same car.
Say, for example, you have a Mini without wheel arch extensions. How would an insurer know whether they were or were not fitted as standard? Some models had them and some didn't.
Refusal to pay out will happen when highly visible alterations are not declared. It is unimaginable that an assessor would recommend non-payment of a claim because the cylinder block was black and not red, or the steel rocker cover was painted silver not green. Mini engines have been green, silver, gold, black, red and yellow over the last 50 years.


But where do you draw a line of what modifications should be declared? Surely having trackday tyres fitted should be 'higher' then a sticker on a door. If you have to tell your insurers about a square on your door then you should have to tell them about a sticker in your rear window?

As im sure you are aware there has never been a classic mini made with an alloy rocker cover or silicone hoses (as far as i know), So both would be classed as modified from standard specification.

I havent said that an insurer WOULD refuse paying out im saying that they COULD.


A white door square is taken as a sign that the owner thinks he is a racing driver ('boy-racer' is the popular term) and is thus viewed as likely to drive in a somewhat 'less prudent' manner. It a highly visible cosmetic alteration. A sticker in the rear window saying 'supplied by ABC Motors' can hardly be a mod.

I think an aluminium alloy rocker cover should not be declarable as it's only fitted to reduce oil leaks and for no other reason.


So what if i fit a light grey square to my door, or a white circle, or my name in the rear side window surely that would be the same as a white square. At what size would a sticker become 'highly visible'?

Ive never fitted an alloy rocker cover to reduce oil leaks, thats what a new gasket is for. How does the material of a rocker cover effect how much oil leaks? :crazy: I fit them to look good therefore would be classed as a cosmetic modification.

#35 Midas Mk1

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 09:40 PM

Oh dear, the Magic Tree that i've just put in my interior is going to have to go :(

#36 Cooperman

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 10:15 PM

Alloy rocker covers were introduced because the original pressed sheet metal rocker cover can distort and leak oil. They were never intended just to 'look good'.
Why would you put a square or a circle on your door, or your name in a side window if it were not to make your car look like a competition car? If you make it look like a competition car when it isn't, then you are, by definition, a 'boy racer' in the eyes of the insurance company. That will be their perception of the owner if he does this.
This thread is going nowhere, since there seems to be some lack of common sense. My 'S' has everything like white squares, for real competition numbers in real competition, a full cage, Minilite wheels, oil cooler, sump guard, FIA seats and belts - in fact the full spec. The insurance co. have a complete spec sheet, 4 pages, and 7 photos, so they can see what it's like and my agreed value premium of £170 reflects this I'm sure.
It's up to you what you want to declare. If you want to declare something as innocuous as an oil temp gauge or a dealer sticker or an extra engine steady, that's your business. In insurance parlance you MUST declare anything which the insurer may deem likely to influence the insured risk. The visual aspects may be an indication as to how you intend to drive on the road. A dealer sticker or a sticker showing you as a member of a golf club are hardly going to make you likely to drive like a boy-racer.

#37 minikidx14

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 10:40 PM

Alloy rocker covers were introduced because the original pressed sheet metal rocker cover can distort and leak oil. They were never intended just to 'look good'.
Why would you put a square or a circle on your door, or your name in a side window if it were not to make your car look like a competition car? If you make it look like a competition car when it isn't, then you are, by definition, a 'boy racer' in the eyes of the insurance company. That will be their perception of the owner if he does this.
This thread is going nowhere, since there seems to be some lack of common sense. My 'S' has everything like white squares, for real competition numbers in real competition, a full cage, Minilite wheels, oil cooler, sump guard, FIA seats and belts - in fact the full spec. The insurance co. have a complete spec sheet, 4 pages, and 7 photos, so they can see what it's like and my agreed value premium of £170 reflects this I'm sure.
It's up to you what you want to declare. If you want to declare something as innocuous as an oil temp gauge or a dealer sticker or an extra engine steady, that's your business. In insurance parlance you MUST declare anything which the insurer may deem likely to influence the insured risk. The visual aspects may be an indication as to how you intend to drive on the road. A dealer sticker or a sticker showing you as a member of a golf club are hardly going to make you likely to drive like a boy-racer.


I never knew thats what they were made for but i beleave most people fit them to make the engine bay look nicer (me included)

What i was trying to say is it shouldnt matter what the sticker is or says. you shouldnt have to declare a square on your door but not a sticker in the rear window.

How are people sposed to know what the insurer may deem likely to influence the insured risk without asking? I dont WANT to declair anything but for the (short) time it takes i beleave its worth it to know that theres no chance of a non payout.

I would also like to point out not all modifications increase your insurance. Having a golf club member sticker in your window may reduce the cost. In the same way that a 'no tools in vehicle overnight' sticker on a van can reduce your insurance cost.

#38 maggies_minder

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 10:55 PM

i agree with cooperman, this thread seems to be going knowhere due to a lack of common sense.

if i tell my insurer my car will be parked on my drive every night, but go to a mini show for a weekend and camp, do i need to tell them for that weekend it wont be on my drive? or a different place such as if the car is in a garage having work done?

#39 Cooperman

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 11:10 PM

I have an alloy rocker cover on my 'S' to stop oil leaks and to give a bit more rocker clearance for my declared high-lift cam and declared 1.5 roller rockers.
It's not difficult to decide what needs declaring. As said above, white door squares, in the eyes of an insurer, shout 'boy-racer', and one can see why if one thinks about it. I mean, you would hardly put large white Fablon squares on the side to go shopping and they are fitted to indicate the owner wants those who see it to believe it is a competition car (even if it isn't). Hence a possible hike in premium. I certainly don't declare my flying club sticker which authorises me to drive in aircraft movement areas as I don't consider it important in insurance risk terms. If I crash into an aeroplane i'm not covered anyway.
Hoses and ignition leads are not mods if made from a slightly better material. They are all considered 'lifed' items and will be changed, when necessary, the same as brake pads, fan belt, ignition points, brake fluid, battery, suspension bushes. If I change to a different brake fluid, say DOT5 instead of DOT4 that's not a mod, just part of routine servicing and a change to an improved and longer life modern fluid. Should you say 'no, I need to ask my insurer' if a parts supplier asks whether you want the standard water hoses or fan belt or better quality ones? Of course not.
As I say, it's a question of common sense and, maybe, some engineering knowledge.

Edited by Cooperman, 16 August 2011 - 11:13 PM.


#40 skyinsurance

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 09:33 AM

As a modification friendly insurer dealing with some very highly modified cars, we ask customers to let us know about all changes made to the vehicle from when it left the factory.
With regards to what YOU should disclose... it is wise to let your insurer know about everything, send them a full spec list if possible.

Ollie
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Edited by skyinsurance, 17 August 2011 - 09:44 AM.


#41 Ruckus

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 02:55 PM

As a modification friendly insurer dealing with some very highly modified cars, we ask customers to let us know about all changes made to the vehicle from when it left the factory.
With regards to what YOU should disclose... it is wise to let your insurer know about everything, send them a full spec list if possible.

Ollie
Sky Insurance


Even parts like non-upgrade non-OEM Disks or pads ?!?

#42 sonikk4

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:48 PM


As a modification friendly insurer dealing with some very highly modified cars, we ask customers to let us know about all changes made to the vehicle from when it left the factory.
With regards to what YOU should disclose... it is wise to let your insurer know about everything, send them a full spec list if possible.

Ollie
Sky Insurance


Even parts like non-upgrade non-OEM Disks or pads ?!?


Ok lets put it this way, how many people over the years regardless of make and model of car have non OEM parts fitted to their vehicles???

As long as they meet the manufactures specification then there will be no issues. Yes some are better quality than others but they still do the job. Yes there are a few exceptions especially nowadays with fraud going the way it is but unless they are made from cheese then they will function.

You may as well say that anything that is done to your vehicle needs to be done by the manufacturer :crazy:.

This thread is now starting to go down a slippery path folks. I think the point has been made that most things we do to a car regarding service items, painted engines, brakes etc do not have any bearing on your insurance.

Your insurance company will have all the information you need with regards to what they see as a modification that improves your vehicle performance.
Painting your engine red is not one of them.

If any other insurance companies or people who have solid facts would like to comment they fair play.

If you have any doubts as to what constitutes a modification to your car then ring your insurance company. They WILL BE the people who have the final say on what is what. We can pontificate all we want on here as to what constitutes a performance modification but unless you have it written in black and white lets not guess please.

#43 rob#155

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 04:14 PM

If painting the outside of a vehicle could effect your insurance, why wouldnt painting an engine


Oh yea, I WOULD ALSO TELL THEM WHENEVER YOU FILL UP WITH PETROL CUS THAT INCREASES THE VALUE OF YOUR CAR BY SO MUCH NOW!!!!

#44 Daviewonder

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 06:58 PM

I though things that increased performance and/or things that made it more attractive to thieves needed to be declared. I don't see how painting an engine affects either of these?

#45 skyinsurance

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 08:19 AM


If you have any doubts as to what constitutes a modification to your car then ring your insurance company. They WILL BE the people who have the final say on what is what. We can pontificate all we want on here as to what constitutes a performance modification but unless you have it written in black and white lets not guess please.


^ Sums it up very well. The only things I would add is when offering advice on a public forum then make sure you know what you are talking about, offering incorrect advice could lead to someone having a potentially invalid policy, in the event of a claim this could cause problems, in the event of a high value claim it could be financially crippling. A lot of the mods discussed here are declarabale but not loadable so it is almost a fuss about nothing.

Ollie
Sky Insurance




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