Does debadging a car affect insurance?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Aug 1, 2019

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Debadging a car or truck involves taking off the manufacturer’s markings and emblems that identify the vehicle on the exterior
  • Debadging is common for people who do not want the make and model of the car they are driving to be easily identified
  • A car insurance policy is based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), so removing outer markings does not change the identity of the car for car insurance purposes
  • Besides debadging a car, any other major modifications that affect a car’s value and performance could constitute making your car insurance company aware of changes

If you are going to remove the manufacturer’s markings and emblems that identify your car or truck on the exterior, then you may be curious about how changes like that could have an impact on the price that you pay for insurance.

The good news is that these relatively minor modifications to the exterior of your car do not affect whether your car would be covered in the event of an accident under your current policy.

If you plan to modify your car in any major way, debadging could have an impact on the value of your car and whether it would need to be covered in a different way under your insurance.

If you are looking for auto insurance, start comparison shopping today by entering your zip code above!

Making Changes To Your Car After It is Already Insured

The way that your insurance coverage works is that it covers the value of your car based on the basic information that you send in with your application for car insurance coverage.

When you give the insurance agent details about the car that you are seeking to have covered, the insurance company will look at the VIN for that vehicle to confirm the make and model.

The auto insurance company will not physically inspect your car unless there is some kind of unique circumstance, such as you seeking coverage for a modified or classic car.

The way that a change to your car could potentially affect your car insurance policy after you have signed it is that the change has an impact on the performance of your car or its overall value.

For instance, if you add a special feature of your car because you want to enhance its performance as a sports car, you would need to let your insurance agent know about the change because it might not be covered if you have to file a claim.

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Reasons Why People Consider Debadging Their Cars

One of the major reasons that some drivers choose to debadge their cars is because they have a certain model of a car that they think is more susceptible to theft or vandalism.

In this case, they choose to remove the emblems on their cars to try to keep them off the radar of potential thieves or vandals.

If you think your car is in an area where it could be stolen or vandalized, you should make sure that you have comprehensive coverage for your car.

Even though comprehensive coverage is a type of coverage that is not mandated by law, it helps car owners to protect their vehicles in the event that something happens to them outside of an accident.

For instance, if you have your car keyed, this is something that comprehensive coverage would cover.

While you may end up paying just a bit more for comprehensive coverage, you definitely want to consider requesting it if you are concerned about maintaining the condition of your car.

Another reason people debadge a car is that they use the car in street races, which is definitely not covered by any major auto insurance policy.

If you get a quote for comprehensive coverage, be sure to ask what the deductible is.

This is the price you pay out of pocket when any damage is sustained by your car and you must file a claim. A lower deductible probably means a higher monthly payment.

Last Thoughts on Whether Debadging a Car Affects Your Car Insurance


If you move forward with debadging your car after you have taken out a car insurance policy for it, you will not have to worry about the auto insurance company being able to say that your insurance policy is no longer valid or that you would not have coverage for your debadged vehicle.

For other types of more significant modifications to your car, you would want to make sure that they would not invalidate your coverage for the value of your car or replacement parts before you go through with any major modifications.

Modifications complicate insurance coverage because they make it more difficult to value your vehicle as well as harder to find the replacement parts for your car if it is damaged.

Find the best auto insurance for your modified car and start comparison shopping by entering your zip code below!

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