Will A Roof Box Affect My Insurance?
If you’re thinking about adding a roof box to your vehicle then the last thing you may be thinking about is insurance.
Unfortunately, many, if not most, insurers would consider a roof box and/or roof rack, a vehicle modification that they would need to be notified about. Failure to inform them of this addition could lead to you not being covered for damage or loss to the roof box or its contents. In a worst-case scenario, your whole claim may be invalidated!
Disclaimer: Please note that I am not an expert on insurance or the law and you should check with your own insurer to make sure you are following their procedures.
How To Add A Roof Box To Your Insurance
Check Your Policy
Firstly you should check your existing policy to see whether you may already be covered for this particular modification. Different insurance companies will have different procedures for dealing with vehicle modifications and also differing opinions on what constitutes a modification.
On a personal level, I would have only considered notifying my insurer of significant permanent changes to the vehicle. Things such as lowering the suspension, changing the size of wheels, adding a spoiler or having the engine’s performance improved.
I wouldn’t have considered adding a roof rack or a roof box a significant enough change to warrant telling them. However, after doing some research I realized that many if not most insurers would need to know that you’d added some storage to your roof.
If you’re still unsure after checking your policy documents then you need to contact your insurance company to inform them that you may be using a roof rack and roof box even if you will only be using it for a few weeks every year.
Informing Your Insurance Company
Before driving with the roof attached make sure to contact your insurer and inform them of your intention to add a roof box to your vehicle.
Many insurers will likely allow this modification without any additional charge. However, you may find that some insurers will increase your premium to cover the additional risk. There may even be some insurers that won’t allow you to add a roof but to your policy! It all depends on the insurer and the type of cover that you have.
I can personally attest to the fickle nature of insurance companies. Several years ago I was able to add my brother to my own insurance without charge for several weeks when he was visiting from overseas. A different insurer would only allow additional drivers if they had a UK driving license, which obviously as he lived overseas he didn’t have!
Never make assumptions as to what your insurance company will or won’t cover if you are in any doubt whatsoever contact them and inform them of the situation and let their representative tell you what the position is.
Your insurance company will then send you revised documentation either electronically or by post to confirm the changes. You’ll need to make it clear that you accept the changes by whatever means your insurance company allows.
Having something in writing that confirms the insurance company has acknowledged your modification will be useful should you ever need to make a claim.
If you’re lucky you won’t end up incurring any charges if you’re unlucky you may have to pay an administration fee on top of any increase in premium.
You are now allowed to use your roof box on public roads without fear of any negative ramifications.
Why Do I Need To Tell My Insurer?
Your insurer needs to know about modifications since they may increase the likelihood of an accident. By adding a roof box you introduce an extra risk factor to your driving. The handling of your vehicle might be affected by carrying cargo on your roof. You also introduce the possibility of the roof box or its contents falling off and causing other vehicles to have an accident trying to avoid the debris.
What Happens If You Don’t Notify Your Insurer?
Are there any consequences should you fail to notify your insurer that you’ve added a roof box to your car? To a great extent that depends on the insurance company and the circumstances of any claim that you make.
If you make a claim for damage to the roof box or theft of its contents and you haven’t bothered to tell them then it is likely you wouldn’t be covered for the loss and your claim would be denied.
If you make a claim for damage caused to your vehicle then the insurer might deny your whole claim because you failed to inform them of a modification to your vehicle.
This may even lead to further problems since they may cancel your whole policy meaning you’re no longer insured to use the vehicle. It could also land you with trouble down the line as most insurance companies will ask whether you’ve ever had an insurance policy canceled in the past. If you have then at the very least your premiums will be increased and at the very worst you may struggle to find an insurance company that will cover you.
In the UK there is an offense called “Driving without insurance”. This could potentially leave you disqualified from driving and incurring an unlimited fine plus the vehicle may be seized and destroyed.
In the USA the rules vary from state to state so there isn’t one specific offense as in the UK. However, all states have some form of laws that you would likely be in breach of if you invalidate your insurance.
Will A Roof Box Affect My Insurance: Conclusion
Simply put you need to inform your insurer that you intend to add a roof rack and or roof box to your vehicle.
Failure to do so could leave you significantly out of pocket and potentially in legal hot water!
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]
Can I Get Roof Box Cover?
It is unlikely that your roof box is covered directly by your policy but it may be covered under any accessories section. It is always best to inform your provider about any modifications you make to your vehicle to make sure you don’t suffer a nasty surprise if you need to make a claim.
I’ve not been able to find any specific insurance cover for a roof cargo box.
Does Car Insurance Cover Roof Racks?
When you make any form of modification to your vehicle you should always inform your insurer. It may mean an adjustment to your premium to allow for the additional cover but this is better than your claim being reduced or refused in the event of a problem later.
Is A Roof Rack A Modification?
Yes, a roof rack is considered a modification so you should inform the insurance company that you have had one fitted.