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Wack

Undeclared modifications

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I know this isn't the Barry boys forum but I know a lot of you have classics or other cars 

 

My car got hit , one of the options is a cash settlement in lieu of repair so I thought I'd see what they offer as it's a cat C anyway and not that bad , a new bumper skin would cure most of it as the damage underneath is minimal 

 

Anyway they asked for pictures of the damage via an app with specific pictures they wanted , amongst these was pictures of every angle of the car with the specific comment include the wheels

 

This reads to me like they're checking everything even though it's a non fault claim 

 

So if you have a classic that's not standard make sure you've declared everything 

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8 minutes ago, Wack said:

I know this isn't the Barry boys forum but I know a lot of you have classics or other cars 

 

My car got hit , one of the options is a cash settlement in lieu of repair so I thought I'd see what they offer as it's a cat C anyway and not that bad , a new bumper skin would cure most of it as the damage underneath is minimal 

 

Anyway they asked for pictures of the damage via an app with specific pictures they wanted , amongst these was pictures of every angle of the car with the specific comment include the wheels

 

This reads to me like they're checking everything even though it's a non fault claim 

 

So if you have a classic that's not standard make sure you've declared everything 

 

Good heads up.

I wonder how insurance companies feel about changing from alloys to steels? I've done this loads of times, and always viewed it as a de-modification, as opposed to improving the car.

Although I actually think the alloys on the Rover were not original, so goodness knows what would have happened in the event of a claim previously. I think as they were OEM alloys, they probably wouldn't have noticed. 

 

I guess telling everything would be prudent.*

 

*Perhaps I should have told them about the plastic drainpipe screwed to the front bumper... :) 

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It can be difficult though. Most of my cars have been at least secondhand  (usually at least ninth hand). I'm not someone who is obsessive over the original specifications so would be blissfully unaware if it had different wheels, trim or accessories to standard. I do tell them if it has something obvious like a towbar, but wouldn't have a clue if a previous owner had "upgraded" and added things like a bumper and built in fog lamps from a higher spec model. My one Morgan had an engine that had been bored out and massive Weber carbs, it did have paperwork to back it up and was declared (made no difference to the insurance) It was only when getting its original specifications from the factory that I found it had originally been on bolt on wheels, but by the time I bought it was on chrome wires. These were shown in the photographs  submitted when I insured it so I would have argued that it was "declared" 

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Good point re not knowing.

On a similar note, a friend of mine's son bought a Corsa a year or two back. Turned out that a previous owner had fitted aftermarket alloys. My friend's aren't car people so didn't realise, think it was noticed when an insurance assessor came to do something with the black box.....

To be honest it looked pretty obvious to me but I can understand how some folk wouldn't give it a second thought.

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I can't recall which one but is there not one insurance company who considers factory optional extras to be "modifications" in their small print?

Technically the base Acclaim is fucked as it is running wider tyres from a higher spec car and has fog lights and side trims that have been added at some point.

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This is something that bothers me. Are there any factory or dealer fitted options on the car?  Really? I haven't a bloody clue. It was ordered fifteen years ago by someone else so I have no idea if they ticked the "badge delete" box.

This could be yet one more reason to track down the most poverty spec version of a car.

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I had a similar issue last year, when I swapped over a set of OEM Renault alloys (standard equipment on the Laguna RT Sport model) with nearly-new tyres onto a base spec Laguna RN, which was spec'd with steel rims. The RN could have had the same alloys fitted from new, but only as a Renault Boutique buyer option.

Had the RN been already fitted with them at the point I acquired it, I would have had no way of knowing whether they'd been fitted as an option from the factory, as a dealer upgrade to help shift an otherwise unappealing bASe model, or put on by a subsequent owner as a 'modification'. Unless you're a marque obsessive who pores over 20 year old catalogues (ahem), most punters wouldn't know - and possibly not many insurance assessors either. Until they really want to find a reason to deny a claim.

Thankfully, the dilemma of whether to declare this change to my insurer and risk a long hard wallet-shafting (simply because they can if they want) was obviated by both cars 'doing a Renault', so ultimately the 'modified' RN never turned a wheel on a public road again.

On balance, I would come down on the side of letting the insurer know, as fear of having cover declared void in the event of an accident would sway me. But some insurers can be dicks about very trivial things, and that does fuck me off somewhat.

I'd like to think that given my age, and the age of the car concerned, a set of slightly different alloy rims of the same approximate size as the steelies would make no material difference to my overall risk (and indeed, a new set of Riken boots would surely make me less likely to need to claim than a set of Avons with perished sidewalls) - but experience has proved otherwise.

 

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Since the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 it has become a lot harder for insurers to throw out a claim for trivial reasons that had no bearing on the claim itself.  Obviously if you have a Corsa with a tuned Z20LET and 18" alloys which is "still a 1.2 on the logbook m8" and you crash it whilst racing your mates down the bypass at 130 then your insurance company will still (quite rightly) be able to tell you to FRO, but fitting dealer option alloys for example will not be reason enough for them to get awkward.

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My Saab 9-5 Aero HOT 2.3 has been "modified" with aftermarket parts (ie not parts from another higher up Saab model). These include wheels, brakes, suspension, exhaust, turbo, intercooler, mapping and stereo. It has no alarm, just the standard Saab immobiliser, and is parked on the street

With all these declared mods, it is cheaper to insure than the 6 year older, 2.0 9-5 I had immediately before it. 

Insurance is unfathomable at times.

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3 minutes ago, Jerzy Woking said:

My Saab 9-5 Aero HOT 2.3 has been "modified" with aftermarket parts (ie not parts from another higher up Saab model). These include wheels, brakes, suspension, exhaust, turbo, intercooler, mapping and stereo. It has no alarm, just the standard Saab immobiliser, and is parked on the street

With all these declared mods, it is cheaper to insure than the 6 year older, 2.0 9-5 I had immediately before it. 

Insurance is unfathomable at times.

Think about the statistics..

Causation verses statistics of crashes and thefts.

Likelihood that people who care enough about a car to modify it sensibly and Delare the mods to.insurers, care enough to not crash their pride and joy. And not leave it somewhere where it might be at risk of being stolen. It might be that the statistics show this.  

In much the same way that if I declare the value of my omega as 3k my.insurance is lower than if I say it's 500 quid.

 

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I was once told by a broker that parking your car on the road rather than on your drive reduces the chance of a burglary where they look for the keys.

I suppose a 14 year old Saab probably doesn't register much on the scrotes list of desirable cars.

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1 hour ago, wuvvum said:

Since the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 it has become a lot harder for insurers to throw out a claim for trivial reasons that had no bearing on the claim itself.  Obviously if you have a Corsa with a tuned Z20LET and 18" alloys which is "still a 1.2 on the logbook m8" and you crash it whilst racing your mates down the bypass at 130 then your insurance company will still (quite rightly) be able to tell you to FRO, but fitting dealer option alloys for example will not be reason enough for them to get awkward.

If the crash can not be prooved to have been caused directly by the modification, then they have no issue. 

But if you have fitted for lights and you didn't declare them, and they are destroyed in that they don't have to replace them.

Where it is less clear.  If I fit a hard top to.my mx5, they might argue that I made it more desirable, and then they could attempt to reduce the claim. 

 

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My car has alloys. For all I know it could have been fitted with steels originally. 

 

I think the bigger concern or fish to fry so speak for the insurers are people with high value stuff that’s been remapped or heavily modified stuff like those bag ‘o shite Merc lowrider things that were impounded in Germany. Basically people who statistically are likely to drive like dicks. 

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1 hour ago, New POD said:

But if you have fitted for lights and you didn't declare them, and they are destroyed in that they don't have to replace them.

That is true.  If an undeclared addition is damaged in an accident, they don't have to pay to repair / replace that addition.  What they can't do is throw the entire claim out because of the existence of that addition - under a strict interpretation of the old rules (which essentially dated back to the Marine Insurance Act of 1906) they technically could have done.

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Plausible deniability on modifications as far as I'm concerned. If it looks like it could be a standard model then as far as I'm concerned it is. "It was like that when I bought it and I know nothing about cars m8, just bought it to get to work y'know". Unless your facebook is full of "check oot ma sick new rimz" and such like then nobody can prove otherwise. Given the value of my vehicles I don't think i'd be heartbroken if the insurance refused to replace the cream leather drivers seat after I'd soiled myself in an accident because the car came from the factory with grey velour. Plus as anyone who's ever bought brake parts for a 1980's transit will know sometimes no fucker knows what "standard" is anyway!

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2 hours ago, sierraman said:

I think the bigger concern or fish to fry so speak for the insurers are people with high value stuff that’s been remapped or heavily modified stuff like those bag ‘o shite Merc lowrider things that were impounded in Germany. Basically people who statistically are likely to drive like dicks. 

The issues of remaps is an interesting one. How would you know a car has been remapped unless you drove two identical models back to back?

Lets say I went out and bought a mk4 Golf TDi. Assuming the seller was none the wiser, I wouldn't have a clue whether it had been mapped or not as I've no experience of them. Short of maybe doing my own rough 0-60mph test and comparing to the manufacturers figures, I'd be in the dark.

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3 minutes ago, mrbenn said:

The issues of remaps is an interesting one. How would you know a car has been remapped unless you drove two identical models back to back?

Lets say I went out and bought a mk4 Golf TDi. Assuming the seller was none the wiser, I wouldn't have a clue whether it had been mapped or not as I've no experience of them. Short of maybe doing my own rough 0-60mph test and comparing to the manufacturers figures, I'd be in the dark.

Some re-maps are even undetectable by main dealer software................Early Revo re-maps  [mostly VAG] is undetectable. On later stuff, you had to chisel open the ECU, which was a bit of a giveaway.....earlier stuff was flashed through the OBD port

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I can't bring myself to imagine the conversation that would be telling an insurance company that my car has alloys that it may or may not have had from new! 

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41 minutes ago, Snipes said:

I can't bring myself to imagine the conversation that would be telling an insurance company that my car has alloys that it may or may not have had from new! 

 

1 hour ago, blackboilersuit said:

...as anyone who's ever bought brake parts for a 1980's transit will know sometimes no fucker knows what "standard" is anyway! 

 

Indeed... I'm not sure that the outfit who currently insure my 31 year old BX would be able to say definitively whether any of the parts fitted to it were standard or not?

 

Some years the cheapest provider thrown up by the comparison websites choose to ring up and ask a few questions for the record. If I am ever asked 'Has it been modified?' I always answer 'Not that I'm aware of'. I've never been asked to elaborate on that answer.

 

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5 hours ago, mrbenn said:

The issues of remaps is an interesting one. How would you know a car has been remapped unless you drove two identical models back to back?

Lets say I went out and bought a mk4 Golf TDi. Assuming the seller was none the wiser, I wouldn't have a clue whether it had been mapped or not as I've no experience of them. Short of maybe doing my own rough 0-60mph test and comparing to the manufacturers figures, I'd be in the dark.

The diesel Mondeo I had had been remapped, no idea what it was chucking out but it went like a stabbed rat. I thought that was just what it was supposed to be like until a other people drove it and said how quick it was. I asked the previous owner and he said it felt much quicker than the one he’d had previously. 

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5 hours ago, colc said:

Some re-maps are even undetectable by main dealer software................Early Revo re-maps  [mostly VAG] is undetectable. On later stuff, you had to chisel open the ECU, which was a bit of a giveaway.....earlier stuff was flashed through the OBD port

I wouldn't believe that too much if I was you. Why? Couple of reasons. 

Firstly there is a industry setup dedicated to verifying what software and lookup tables are stored in an ECU, so insurance companies can verify this. All they have to do is plug in, run a hash or CRC and verify it against the standard manufacturers signatures. 

Secondly, how do you think the tuners get the base maps to start tuning from? They suck it out of the ECUs flash memory of course. Even after a re-flash with a new map, it still can be pulled out. If the modders try hacking the firmware so it can no longer extract or even hash the lookup tables, that's a big red flag there. 

Now the likely chances of this happen to a Fiat Panda that has rear ended someone at the lights is pretty slim. However if you drive a Scooby and you take out someone's living room, it's going to be a very different case. 

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5 hours ago, mrbenn said:

The issues of remaps is an interesting one. How would you know a car has been remapped unless you drove two identical models back to back?

Lets say I went out and bought a mk4 Golf TDi. Assuming the seller was none the wiser, I wouldn't have a clue whether it had been mapped or not as I've no experience of them. Short of maybe doing my own rough 0-60mph test and comparing to the manufacturers figures, I'd be in the dark.

For the average Joe it's going to be pretty difficult to tell. Especially if you haven't driven many examples of them. Likewise knowing if say something like a DPF has been removed and hacked out of the firmware. 

If you have a diagnostic lead, probably the easiest way for someone to tell is watching the boost levels under hard acceleration. Almost always remaps bump these up a fair old bit and it can be quite clear increase over stock boost levels. 

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It's also not just a case of saying "I won't claim" - if you hit someone or it is 50/50 claim you may not get a choice.

Last at fault claim I had was over £14k claimed against me and I am sure if there was a legal way not to pay it, then it would be found.

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My Saxo was lowered, had alloys, an exhaust and because I was an anus I didn't declare anything.
It got biffed and was written off.

The only thing the assessor noted in his thing was "racing seats"

Or as they were when I bought them, Halfords seat covers.

I'm not sure who I was racing as it was a 9bhp non turbo 1500 diesel.

Maybe he assumed I was in an illegal snail racing club?

Needless to say I went to the salvage yard and took pictures of me removing said racing seats.

I got paid out for it.

After that I declared any mods I did to future cars.

Sent from my VFD 710 using Tapatalk

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27 minutes ago, snagglepuss said:

It's also not just a case of saying "I won't claim" - if you hit someone or it is 50/50 claim you may not get a choice.

Last at fault claim I had was over £14k claimed against me and I am sure if there was a legal way not to pay it, then it would be found.

I remember chatting to a neighbour a few years ago when my Saab was rear ended and written off. He was a defence solicitor for insurance claims. Anyway he said in my Saabs case, both insurance companied will write it off and try getting the case sorted as quick as possible. They want to do this as it costs them money to have these cases on going. 

So reasonably clear cut cases and claims of "sensible" nature, they will just push them through to get them off the books. As soon as heels start digging in, it cost claim handlers time, (expensive) hire car costs, solicitor fees, etc, etc. Very quickly can end up costing way more than just writing off the average modern car that is a few years old and paying out.

In these cases often things won't really be inspected or even looked at in detail at all. It's just not in their interest. Of course if during an inspection, a shiny intercooler is seen then there is a fair chance a bit more digging will be done. However if it's had a remap, different manufacturer alloys, etc then unlikely it'll be noticed or cared. Not that I'd want to take that risk.

He also said that every case he had been involved with that someone has been killed and often if seriously injured, the police go through all the vehicles involved with an exceptionally fine toothed comb. Details of the results of those inspections will be shared with those legal parties involved of course. 

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...over here; nowadays, insurance companies wont be held liable for a car without a NCT test; they wont insure any car without a test - years ago, if you bought a car with a test out 2 or 3 weeks, but you'd booked a test, the insurance company would cover you, but want the NCT cert 'in the post to follow' - nowadays they've some cort of 'catel' access, all the insurance co's now know  of what car is tested, n whats not ; via a click of their keyboard; no test on the car that's current; no quote; not even temporary - if you don't have a test; your not insured, is the 'line' - Im not sure how this works out insurance wise for folk like me getting an aged '04 audi avant tdi with high mileage tested as it can often take a few attempts in the 28 day window, swopping shocks n springs about to keep their computers happy re the 2 or 3%  shocks n springs imbalance(outside the 30%) - its can often take 2 or 3 attempts at retests; which it has recently...

...another stipulation is that you turn up with the reg form; (tax book for the car)- they wont test the car without it; anways on last retest  when I was in the cramped waiting  room; it seems they brought some lads car into the testing bays, but 10 mins later reversed the car back out of the bay n to to the customer carpark (years since ive seen that n then it was my own car) n told him the engine no' didn't match to what was on the reg form - I presumed he was testing a bog standard  04 era ford focus - judging by how he came in the queue- he seemed completely miffed by the testers refusal; I was in for a brief retest so not sure what was its outcome; so there you are a refusal to even test a car without a declared  engine replacement/new engine no' on the reg form...

...my brother has had an 04 1.4 Ford focus for the last 5 years n is scrapping it tomorrow (lots of miles etc) - in all the time ive looked at it for him; never seen the engine no on the block once; tester was able to see it in 5-10mins...

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7 hours ago, dieselassist said:

they wont insure any car without a test

Funny that, over here they won't test a car without insurance 😁

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