Guiding consumers since 2009

How car power enhancements affect your cover

By Danielle van Wyk

“Adding aftermarket power enhancement accessories might seem like a good idea to the car enthusiast, but it’s important to consult your insurer about these new additions to your vehicle,” stated Mpumelelo Tyikwe, managing director of Alexander Forbes Insurance.

Many make various modifications to their vehicles, and in many instances it is to improve the performance of the car and thus affects its power output.

Tyikwe explained that insurers use power as a rating factor. “It is the power to mass ratio of a vehicle that is important. If the power is increased and the weight remains the same, the vehicle can accelerate quicker and go faster.”

While many other factors are also taken into account, power is an important one as accidents reportedly cause more loss to insurance than theft, and the damage tends to be more grave among the more powerful cars, explained Alexander Forbes.

“Other important factors are area, age of driver and how long the person has been driving without loss,” Tyikwe added.

It is no secret that younger drivers tend to have riskier behavioural patterns, with a joy for speed and acceleration. This coupled with generally less experience in dangerous and tricky situations that may confront them on the road is a recipe for disaster.

The importance of disclosing any enhancements done to your vehicle can’t be stressed enough, Tyikwe stated.

“If you do not disclose the enhancement, the insurer is prejudiced in that they were not able to charge the correct premium or they were not given the opportunity to decline the risk,” added Tyikwe.

Especially in these trying economic times where fuel increases have become the norm, many enhance their car to improve the fuel economy. However, the effect can still be that the power output is increased.

Power enhancement modifications that need to be disclosed

Tyikwe highlighted a few of the aftermarket vehicle performance modifications which are considered power enhancements, and which are necessary to be disclosed to your insurer:

-Cool air induction system: Tyikwe stated that a common modification is one to the induction system. Drivers who want their engines to sound better and gain power often open up their airflow.

-Intercooler: This is an installation of a type of air conditioner used to keep the air cool for turbocharged motors.

-Downpipe: “This is part of the air inflow to cool air intake,” stated Tyikwe.

-Turbo charge: Tyikwe explained that this charge compresses the air and forces it into the motor, as opposed to the cool air induction system that redirects the airflow.

-Exhaust enhancement: According to Tyikwe, exhaust enhancements typically have less back pressure than conventional exhausts with fewer obstructions and bends, so exhaust flow is increased. Thus affecting the power of the vehicle.

“Many automotive companies offer aftermarket exhaust system upgrades as a subcategory of engine tuning. These upgrades can significantly improve engine performance by reducing the exhaust back pressure and by reducing the amount of heat from the exhaust being lost into the under-bonnet temperature, which consequently improves power,” stated Tyikwe.

Prepare yourself for possible premium adjustments, relative to the modification, as risks many increase. It is for this reason that you may not want to disclose modifications, added Tyikwe, but in the event of an accident, it always proves the better thing to do.

 Handy tip:  If your vehicle is still uninsured, and you are wanting to do so before the silly season is upon us, why not apply for cover through Justmoney.

Recent Articles

Featured What’s the deal with underwriting?

When you apply for a long-term insurance policy, a financial adviser will ask some personal questions about your lifestyle, family history, health, and even ask you to take some medical tests. This process is called underwriting, but is it really necessary?


How are you taxed on your retrenchment package?

Unemployment is one of the biggest problems in South Africa. The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation with a lot of companies retrenching their employees.  When retrenched, you’ll receive a retrenchment package, but do you know how much tax you’re liable for?

Car repossessed – don’t be taken for a ride

When the country is facing an economic downturn, chances are your finances will feel the pinch. This can lead you to make bad financial decisions such as skipping your vehicle payments. But every decision has consequences and if you don’t pay your instalment, the bank will repossess your car. But what can you do when this happens?


Why you should consider gap cover

Your medical aid should protect you from incurring large medical bills when you’re sick. But what if your plan doesn’t cover the full cost of your medical expenses? We got in touch with insurance experts to find out whether gap cover is worth having.


Office furniture at discounted prices at BDK

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Johannesburg

Da Vincis Happy Hour Special

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Cape Town

Use your Absa card and get 30% cashback at Dis-chem

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Nationwide

Latest Guide

Guide to debt rehabilitation solutions