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Want to Modify Your Motorcycle? Then You'd Better Be Prepared for This!

Updated 11 Jan 2019 – By Caitlyn Ng


Why do so many Malaysians get a motorcycle nowadays? Apart from it being a cheaper mode of transportation and small enough to zip through the notorious traffic jams, there’s also one more major draw. The ability to customise their ride so that it can be one-of-a-kind, or basically: “so it can be better than everyone else’s lah!”

If the lure of tacky metallic parts, custom paint jobs, personal upgrades, and saddlebags are right up your alley, have you ever stopped to consider if they’re covered by your insurance? Sure, you may have the most comprehensive policy in the market, but not all of them will cover your a** in the event of an accident and/or theft.

Don’t worry if you weren’t aware of this, maybe your insurance agent (conveniently) forgot to mention it to you before you signed the agreement. We’re here to answer some of the common questions surrounding getting insured for modified and customised motorcycles.
 

Is it even necessary to inform that I’ve had my motorcycle modified?



Abuden! Imagine the insurance company is like your parents, who are giving you protection. Before you do anything major, you’ll need to inform your parents so that in case anything happens, they’re aware (and won’t flip out on you), right? Similarly, in most of the policies that we looked through, there was one same clause they all had:
 

“Maintain Your Motorcycle in a reasonably efficient and roadworthy condition. You must get Our consent if You make any modification that will enhance or in any way affect the performance of Your Motorcycle.”


The reason for this is simple; if you’re involved in an accident due to a particular modification (maybe you thought that super shiny chrome chassis set was a great idea, forgetting that Malaysia has glaring sun rays), the insurance company has EVERY RIGHT to refuse to pay you if they weren’t aware of your decision.

So no matter whether it was something minor like raising your motorcycle’s suspension or something major like upgrading the engine, any and all modifications that you make will need to be disclosed in full.

 

Should I tell the insurance people before or after I’ve had my motorcycle modified?

Obviously, the proper way would be to inform your insurance rep BEFORE you do anything lah. Looking at the clause mentioned above, it’s clear that most companies would need to give you their consent beforehand to enable them to evaluate any possible risks involved. They would also need to see if your premium or acceptance of cover is adequate, or if you need to top-up.



You see, when you first signed up for a policy, you would need to use the market value of your motorcycle as the basis to determine the right sum to insure. So a modified two-wheeler not only means that the overall value may increase (imported custom parts are NOT cheap okay), it may also increase the rider’s risk exposure, resulting in a higher premium to be paid.

When disclosing any change, alteration or addition to your insurer, you’ll need to speak to your mechanic so that you’re able to include the following too (where applicable):
  • The manufacturer and specification of the modification.
  • The total cost of the modification.
  • The mechanic’s report, for certain performance alterations.

However, don’t fret if you’ve already gone ahead with the modifications! As long as you make sure that you don’t try to hide and that the information you report is accurate, depending on the individual policy and the sort of changes you made, the difference in cost could be minimal, or nothing at all!

 

But how come insuring my modified motorcycle might be more expensive?

Like any other type of vehicle insurance out there, there are a few main factors that could potentially influence the premium you’d need to fork out for your modified or custom motorcycle. These include:
  • The bike is now more desirable.
  • The bike's performance has been enhanced.
  • The cost of modification itself and the value it might add to your bike.

How these affect your policy can vary depending on the insurer you’ve chosen. Of course, bear in mind that the increase in your premium’s price is normally minimal - especially when you compare that to the potential cost of replacing all aftermarket parts and redoing all the custom work out of your own pocket!



But the number one thing to remember is that when you buy insurance (which is a legal obligation anyway), the safety of your pillion rider and other road users should be important factors to take into consideration. Don’t spend big bucks on pimping your ride, only to skimp on purchasing a proper plan just to save a few extra Ringgit.

 

Please don’t play-play when it comes to protection

So if you’re still considering making your ride unique to you, it’s essential to remember that certain modifications can affect the safety of your motorcycle. You’re highly advised to only modify your two-wheeler according to the guidelines and approval of the relevant authorities. If you’re not sure whether your blueprint is allowed, then ASK! 

You can always refer to your insurance rep or PIAM (General Insurance Association of Malaysia) so that you don’t waste money having to undo all your hard work. Above all, please remember that your insurer can and will cancel your policy or avoid paying a claim should you fail to be completely honest and upfront with them.



Good news: Thanks to today’s smart gadgets, you can now buy and/or renew your motorcycle insurance online - say goodbye to long queues and hiring a runner! Loanstreet has launched the first ever portal for Malaysian motorcyclists to get free insurance quotes without hassle, plus we’ve also included a road tax renewal service to make it a one-stop portal for you.
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