clock July 29, 2013 comments No Comments flowchart Automobile InsuranceOur Blog tag

You’ve been eyeing that pickup topper for quite a while now. The one with places to stuff, stow, lock and rack just about anything – the one that was out of your budget. And thanks to the miracle of the Internet, it could be yours for a fraction of the price – but there’s one more budget to consider before making the purchase. What’s that going to do to your auto insurance premium?

Yes, your car insurance rates may go up slightly– but don’t let that be a deal-breaker. When spread out over a 6- or 12-month period, the increase may be nominal.

The key is to talk to your car insurance agent.


The Difference between Factory Installed and an Upgrade


If you purchased your truck new with the topper, it’s likely covered as part of your existing car insurance premium. But if you added the topper after you purchased the truck, the auto insurance company considers it to be an after-market upgrade.

Just as you had to pay for the pickup topper separately, if your vehicle gets in an accident it is an additional cost to repair the topper in addition to the vehicle. So it’s not surprising that there may be an additional premium to cover it.


You May Already Be Covered


If you have a comprehensive or collision policy, your truck topper may already be covered. In most states, including Rhode Island, some auto insurance carriers offer a small amount of automatic custom-parts and accessory-equipment coverage with comprehensive or collision policies.

But if not, or the value of your tricked-out truck topper exceeds the amount of coverage offered in your policy, you have the option to purchase an additional endorsement.


How Your Car Insurance Premium Is Calculated


Just like your vehicle, the amount of the premium you will need to pay is based on the value of the pickup topper. The insured value is based on how much you paid for the topper, and insured value is a starting point for determining the premium.

Some companies may offer coverage for replacement value while others will insure pickup toppers for the actual cash value, minus depreciation. The premium difference for replacement coverage is typically nominal over actual cash value, so it’s worth checking to see if your insurance carrier offers this type of coverage.

As with any upgrade or accessory you make to your vehicle, it’s a good idea to document the condition of the truck topper with photographs and save receipts in the event you do need to make a claim with your car insurance company.

Look before You Leap

Think of it like this. If the accessory or upgrade adds to the value of your vehicle, your car insurance premium could go up as well. Getting a new toy doesn’t always mean your car insurance premiums will increase, but the only way to be sure you are covered is to talk to your independent insurance agent. So before you take that leap, be sure to check with us about your coverage. Contact us today to see if your current policy is sufficient for your needs.